".....would face "a PR nightmare" and risk losing staff who don't trust their employers. "
Would face a PR nightmare? They would only then experience a breakdown in trust between them and their employers? I think somebody should start talking to the poor sods presently working at the coalface. They might then discover that this lack of trust and a desire to get the hell out it it is a widespread condition today, never mind at some stage in the future. Costing cutting? That's simply a question of who gets cut. Doing things smarter, being genuinely innovative to grow a business and improve profitability - that is way to much like intellectual heavy lifting for The Directorati. Attempting to take that route might expose their total inadequacy, people might see that the managerial emperor is mother naked.