Our data was recently featured in a @businessinsider article on C-Suite Execs' responses to racial injustice. 84% of Americans support leaders speaking out against police brutality, as well as the right to free speech and peaceful protest. Read more here: https://www.businessinsider.com/heres-what-anti-racist-actions-workers-want-their-ceos-take-2020-7
The Facebook boycott—which includes more than 500 companies, from @CocaCola to @DennysDiner to @Unilever—has gained momentum. But will it get enough traction to drive the change its organizers seek? Read what @HarrisPoll CEO, Will Johnson, has to say here: https://adage.com/article/opinion/opinion-if-facebook-doesnt-move-fast-it-may-break-its-most-valuable-asset-its-brand/2267256
The boycott’s power lies less in its financial might than its PR profile, new Harris polling finds
The Facebook boycott—which includes more than 500 companies, from Coca-Cola to Denny’s to Unilever—has gained momentum. But will it get enough traction to drive the change its organizers seek?
That’s a more complex question than you might think. The answer depends on how one measures the boycott’s power and quantifies its results. The boycott clearly has gotten the social media giant’s attention: Facebook executives, including founder and CEO Mark Zuckerberg and COO Sheryl Sandberg, met virtually with the activists leading the boycott to discuss issues including removing hate-driven content from the site. But the boycotters left unimpressed and plan to release a scathing independent audit of Facebook’s civil rights practices. Zuckerberg has expressed skepticism about the campaign’s impact, saying he expects the advertisers to return “soon enough.”
Indeed, much has been made of the number of companies and the ad dollars that the walkout is depriving Facebook. But short-term finances are not what will propel this movement’s success or failure. The boycott’s power lies less in its financial might than its PR profile.
To this point, according to new Harris polling, the movement is winning hearts if not spurring actions. While 43 percent of U.S. adults are ambivalent about the actual boycott, the civil rights activists have broad support: 47 percent of Americans said they would have a more positive view of brands that suspend their social media advertising because of hate speech, versus only 10 percent who said they would have a more negative view of such companies.
Furthermore, the boycotters also have an edge among those willing to change their own spending habits, according to the poll. More than one quarter of Americans (27 percent) said they would be more likely to buy products from companies that have stopped advertising on social media in order to protest hate speech; in contrast, 23 percent said they would be less likely to do so.
A perplexing contradiction
Yet the same survey found Facebook to be overwhelmingly the most popular social media platform, with fully 75 percent of Americans claiming they use the platform—more than YouTube (60 percent), Instagram (46 percent), Twitter (31 percent), Pinterest (30 percent) or Snapchat (27 percent). Although Americans support and applaud the boycott, they aren’t changing their own habits. It's no surprise that users find it hard to stop scrolling through their feeds and posting validation-seeking pictures, especially at a time of diminished in-person social activity.
This seeming contradiction can be perplexing. Keep in mind, consumer sentiment is one thing; behavior can often show something else. So what does this mean for the boycott movement?
On one hand, companies gain a brand boost by doing what seems right by standing with civil and equal rights at a time of national turmoil and racial reconciliation. And on a more practical level, as firms scramble to cut costs in the face of the economic slowdown, advertising dollars unspent are a bonus.
On the other hand, the boycotters are a drop in the social media giant’s bucket. According to USA Today, in the first half of 2020, advertisers spent more than $4 billion on Facebook ads, and the top 100 advertisers—nearly all pledging to boycott—accounted for only 6 percent of that figure. Facebook’s sweet spot contains smaller and mid-sized companies that can afford its rates, which are cheaper and more finely targeted than platforms including television and print. With an unmatched audience and unparalleled knowledge of those consumers, Facebook is just a logical place for small ad buys.
Bad narrative for Facebook
But raw dollar amounts aren’t the right metric by which to measure the boycott’s potency. The same poll numbers showing that consumers think that companies are doing something right by pulling out of Facebook imply that the company itself is doing something wrong. That’s a narrative Facebook cannot afford to let solidify. That’s why Zuckerberg and Sandberg took the Zoom meeting with the boycott leaders—they know their optics problem is more serious than their financial one. And it would also explain the anger and frustration the meeting generated on the activist side. “Facebook approached our meeting today like it was nothing more than a PR exercise,” Jessica Gonzalez, co-CEO of Free Press told reporters afterward.
The bottom line is that Facebook can weather a mild drop in revenue. But it could lose the value it has today that drives overall revenue. If people see it less as a benign social connection forum than some combination of callous and hate-filled, they might look for another platform where they can connect with friends and family.
If Facebook doesn’t move fast, it might break its most valuable asset: its brand.
Read the full article at Ad Age.
- Corporate leaders are doubling down on promises to promote racial justice in the wake of nationwide Black Lives Matter protests.
- This is, in part, because more employees and customers are speaking up about racial injustice and inequality, experts previously told Business Insider.
- A new survey by research firm The Harris Poll and the nonprofit JUST Capital asked 2,000 Americans what changes they want to see from the C-suite.
- More than 60% agree that promoting diversity and inclusion within companies is important.
- And the majority of Americans, especially Black Americans, agree paying people a living wage is key to advancing equality.
The corporate world is experiencing a moment of awakening — and it's in part because employees and customers are speaking up.
Leaders — from billionaire investor Ray Dalio to JP Morgan Chase CEO Jamie Dimon and billionaire philanthropist Melinda Gates — are talking about inequality and racial injustice. Large companies, from Dell to 23andme are promising specific reform within their offices. Top brands including Starbucks and Unilever have pulled their ads from Facebook over what they say is the platform's failure to stop the spread of hate.
More Americans are telling the nation's C-suite what they want, using both their voices and their wallets, in aligning with brands that hold similar values, diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) strategists and researchers previously told Business Insider.
A new poll released Thursday gives a closer look at what exactly Americans want from their leaders.
The Harris Poll and Just Capital, an independent research nonprofit founded by the billionaire investor Paul Tudor Jones, surveyed 2,000 Americans asking them one overarching question: What change do you want to see from business leaders?
Respondents want leaders to take a stand against injustice and to promote DEI. Some 84% support leaders speaking out against police brutality, as well as Americans' right to free speech and peaceful protest. And 75% agree business leaders should champion diversity and inclusion and denounce racism.
Beyond simply speaking out, people also want accountability. Sixty-one percent of Americans agreed with the statement "any corporate action enacted in an effort to advance racial equality means nothing without accountability measures in place."
The report analyzed the specific actions Black Americans specifically want leaders to take. They include:
- Commit to paying all employees a living wage (89% of Black respondents agreed, 86% of whites agreed).
- Increase business with Black-owned suppliers (89% of Black respondents agreed, 67% of whites agreed).
- Provide accessible grievance mechanisms for employees to report harassment or discrimination (88% of Black respondents agreed, 83% of whites agreed).
The biggest racial difference around what change should be enacted was around increasing charitable giving to Black communities. While 85% of Black respondents agreed that it's an important change to be made, only 62% of whites agreed.
Read the full article at Business Insider.
The enhanced unemployment benefits passed as part of the CARES Act are set to expire at the end of July if Congress doesn’t act. A new Yahoo Finance-Harris poll finds the majority of Americans believe the extra $600 per week should be extended past July — even though a majority also believes the benefits discourage people from returning to work.
The poll, conducted between July 2 and July 6, found 58% of the 2,094 respondents surveyed support extending the enhanced benefits into August or longer. Forty-two percent said the benefits should expire at the end of July as scheduled.
People in the Midwest and Northeast are more likely to support letting the benefits expire than people in the South or West. Forty-nine percent of respondents in the Midwest and 46% of respondents in the Northeast support a July expiration, compared to 39% of people in the South and 39% of people in the West, the poll found.
Discouraging workers from going back to their jobs?
Lawmakers are debating what to do about the benefits as they attempt to pass another coronavirus relief package in the coming weeks. Many Republicans have argued against extending the benefits, saying some workers make more on unemployment than they do at their job, which they say is a disincentive for workers to go back to work.
The new poll shows 34% somewhat agree and 28% strongly agree the enhanced benefits discourage people from returning to work.
People who have received the additional benefits are less likely to see them as a disincentive for work.
Of those polled, 44% currently receiving the extra $600 see the benefit as a discouragement from returning to work — compared to 56% of people who previously received the benefit and 64% of people who never did.
Young people are also less likely to see the benefits as a disincentive. Half of respondents between 18 and 34 years old said the benefits are a discouragement, compared to 68% of people between 55 and 64 years old.
Despite those findings, 68% of respondents still said they think the extra $600 per week is beneficial to the U.S. economy.
Democratic lawmakers warn eliminating the boosted benefits would push Americans into poverty and cause more damage to the economy in the long run.
“Supercharged unemployment benefits have kept the economy afloat and allowed millions of families to pay the rent and buy groceries,” said Sen. Ron Wyden (D-OR) in a statement this week.
Of the people surveyed, 107 were receiving the enhanced benefits at the time of the poll. More than half (57%) of that group said they would have to cut back on non-essential spending if the boosted benefits expired. About a quarter (26%) said they would skip paying at least one bill and 20% said they would need to sell belongings for extra income. Eleven percent of respondents said they would lose their home and 6% said they would lose their car.
Some Republicans have pushed for a back-to-work bonus to encourage workers to get back to their jobs.
“I think we need to have something that gets people back to work, but ensures we are taking care of those who really need to help,” Sen. Rob Portman (R-OH) said in an interview with Yahoo Finance.
Democratic lawmakers argue the bonus won’t help the many workers who can’t go back to their jobs if their employer went out of business or if their company is still temporarily shut down.
The Yahoo Finance-Harris poll found 69% of respondents support a return-to-work bonus – 67% of those currently on unemployment would be more likely to return to their job if they got a bonus for doing so. Seventy-nine percent of respondents said they would support the U.S. government offering incentives like taxes, grants and low-interest loans to rehire workers.
Read the full article at Yahoo Finance.
In the last four months, work has changed drastically. But will these changes persist into the future? Our second Work Trend Index report explores this idea by combining insights from three sources: trends behind how our customers use our tools; findings from a Harris Poll survey of over 2,000 remote workers in six countries; and conclusions from over 30 research projects from across Microsoft that seek to understand the experience for remote workers today via surveys, interviews, diary studies, focus groups, and studies of the human brain.
Our goal for this research is to uncover both good and challenging aspects of remote work so we can accelerate product development in the right areas, anticipate how work will change in the future, and help our customers thrive in this new world of work.
The population reflected in the data consisted of information workers at small, medium and large enterprises and is not inclusive of the entire workforce. Read on for our key findings
Brainwaves reveal remote meeting fatigue is real
A commonly discussed pain point of remote work is that it can feel more challenging or tiring than in-person collaboration. Researchers from our Human Factors Labs recently set out to understand this phenomenon. Do remote work and video meetings actually tax our brain more than in-person work? The brain science suggests, yes.
Remote collaboration is more difficult, but the transition back to in-person work might be just as hard
In our Human Factors Labs, where we study how humans interact with technology, scientists ran an experiment to understand how the brain responds to collaborating remotely through computer screens compared to in person. This study began pre-COVID as part of ongoing work in Microsoft around the remote work experience. They asked 13 teams of two to complete similar tasks together –
Video meetings lead to fatigue
A second study found that brainwave markers associated with overwork and stress are significantly higher in video meetings than non-meeting work like writing emails. Further, due to high levels of sustained concentration fatigue begins to set in 30-40 minutes into a meeting. Looking at days filled with video meetings, stress begins to set in at about two hours into the day. The research suggests several factors lead to this sense of meeting fatigue: having to focus continuously on the screen to extract relevant information and stay engaged; reduced non-verbal cues that help you read the room or know whose turn it is to talk; and screen sharing with very little view of the people you are interacting with.
To help with this, we recommend taking regular breaks every two hours to let your brain re-charge, limiting meetings to 30 minutes, or punctuating long meetings with small breaks when possible.
To help address these challenges through our technology, today we also released a series of updates to Teams designed to help create more human connection with people you’re working with and to reduce meeting fatigue—
Read the full story at Microsoft.
June 2020 - Stress in America Press Release: As protests continue, more than half of black Americans report discrimination as significant source of stress.
The COVID-19 pandemic has altered every aspect of American life, from health and work to education and exercise. Over the long term, warns the American Psychological Association, the negative mental health effects of the coronavirus will be serious and long-lasting.
To better understand how individuals are coping with the extreme stress of this crisis, APA has adapted its annual Stress in America poll into a monthly analysis of stressors and stress levels. Taking a monthly “pulse” to understand how individuals are processing these extreme events will help health leaders and policymakers better align advice and resources to address these evolving mental health needs.
In the second volume of Stress in AmericaTM 2020: Stress in the Time of COVID-19, APA reports on two surveys conducted by The Harris Poll on behalf of APA: Wave 2 of the COVID tracker, conducted May 21-June 3, 2020, among 3,013 adults age 18+ who reside in the U.S.; and an additional poll about the current civil unrest, conducted June 9-11, 2020, among 2,058 adults age 18+ who reside in the U.S.
The full report: Stress in the Time of COVID-19, Volume Two