Connected Leadership in Germany | Brunswick Group

Connected Leadership in Germany

Germany lags far behind other industrialized countries in the use of social and digital media by executives, according to new research by Brunswick. As a result, executives in Germany are missing opportunities to engage important stakeholder groups. In almost all other regions of the world, readers of financial publications now rely on digital and social channels to evaluate the reputations of corporate executives.

Key Findings

  • In Germany, 72% of those interested in finance now consider it important that executives actively communicate on corporate issues via social media. In the United States, this figure is 86%, in Saudi Arabia and China almost 100%.
  • With a ratio of more than 2:1, financial readers in Germany trust a CEO who uses social media more than one who does not, which grows to 5:1 globally. Among the top reasons is that it makes it easier to communicate with them and makes the CEO’s work more transparent.
  • 59% of employees think it is important for management to communicate actively on social media. This figure jumps to 82% during a crisis.
  • 93% of employees in Germany say that direct and transparent leadership communication is an important factor in deciding whether to stay with their current employer. 92% named leadership who they recognize and respect. Social media platforms help to convey these messages.
  • Only 29% of employees in Germany consider their own management to be connected online.

The Landscape

2 to 1

employees would prefer to work for a CEO who uses digital and social media over a CEO who does not.


of financial readers cite the importance of social media communications by CEOs when a company is in crisis.

2 to 1

financial readers trust a CEO who uses social media more than one who does not.

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We asked 5,200 readers of financial publications and 6,500 employees of companies with more than 1,000 employees – groups emblematic of the external stakeholders business leaders want to reach – about their communications expectations of corporate leaders across 13 different countries and markets.

From misinformation to employee engagement to crisis, the data is clear. Stakeholders expect executives to adapt to the changing circumstances they face. They expect a Connected Leader.

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