A recent analysis found examples of three large global companies, each with a market cap of more than US$10 billion, that lost 20% to 56% of their value—a total US$70 billion loss—when they lost their stakeholders’ trust.
Companies who are trustworthy outperform the S&P 500 by levels as high as 30% to 50%.
The era of misinformation and disinformation has resulted in the widespread rise of “distrust”.
We commonly experience this with the news and social media posts we read:
“Is this true”?
“Can I believe this”?
“Do I trust this source”?
This distrust extends beyond the news to our relationships, including the relationship we have with our own employers. Consider this in conjunction with the rise of shifting power dynamics, where over the last year employees are increasing their leverage and expectations from their employers.
In a study of 7000 employees across 7 countries, 60% would consider, choose, leave, or avoid employers based on their values and beliefs. An employer’s stance on social issues is becoming increasingly relevant in building trust among employees.
Strengthen trust across key domains through action. There are clear, topical opportunities to do this in the domains of:
How can you prioritise employees’ need for purpose? How can you help them live the company’s purpose in a way that feels authentically aligned to their own?
Patagonia’s values are threaded through their culture. Their values explicitly position them as a trustworthy employer and their actions live up to their values. Patagonia’s values are: “Build the best product, Cause no unnecessary harm, Use business to protect nature, Not bound by convention”
How can you meet various employee needs in unique ways?
Tommy Hilfiger launched an Adaptive Fashion line for people with differing abilities. This signalled the company’s intent to meet the needs of people in unique ways. It also helped employees feel a sense of purpose in their jobs: they were making a meaningful and positive contribution to society.
How can you demonstrate that your organisation is willing to do the right thing, even if it’s not convenient or easy?
Tony Chocolonely published their chocolate bar with the grams of sugar in each uniquely shaped chocolate piece. Their goal was not only to be more transparent about their ingredients, but to give their consumers the knowledge needed to make informed decisions about sugar intake – regardless of the impact it might have on sales and perception.