There is a steady decline in our society today of trust and credibility. According to the 2018 Edelman Trust Barometer, our society has little trust for our peers, media, and the government. In the U.S., trust plummeted to 23 points to a Trust Index of 45, lowest of the 28 countries surveyed including Russia and South Africa.
Without trust, companies cannot perform at its highest levels, which affects everything from employee morale and engagement, productivity and revenue. A closer look at the 2018 Edelman survey however shows a clear opportunity for businesses to build trust in the workplace right now.
Decreased Trust in Peers
One of the biggest surprises from the survey was the declining trust many employees had in their peers. In past years, respondents said they consider their peers as one of the most reliable sources of information in their company. Unfortunately, this has changed. Trust in peers dropped to its lowest levels ever at 54%. We lack faith in where people who are “just like us” get their information as the question of what is truth and what is not becomes more prevalent.
What does this mean for today’s workforce? Teamwork becomes more challenging when your employees don’t trust one another. Building trust within your team requires strategies that promote credibility, honesty, respect and communication.
False Information and Silence are Major Concerns
According to the Edelman Trust Barometer, seven in 10 of the respondents said they were worried about false information. It is difficult for individuals to decipher between what is accurate and what is exaggerated or untrue.
Silence is the other killer of trust and credibility in a company. Employers want to be kept in the loop with the latest news, changes, and concerns of the company. They want to understand why certain decisions are being made and they want to feel secure with their role in the company. Transparency not only builds stronger relationships between employees and managers, but it also helps everyone feel more connected and valued.
Rising Trust in Business
While trust in government and media has dropped significantly, the Edelman Survey shows a rebound in trust for voices of authority. Sixty-three percent of respondents trust technical “experts” and 61% view academic experts as more credible and trustworthy.
This rise in trust also holds true for businesses. Seventy-nine percent of U.S; respondents say they trust their employer do what is right. Employees now expect their companies to be agents of change rather than wait for government to impose change on them. And a CEO’s number one job? Build trust in the workplace as well as outside the company. More respondents (69%) rated building trust as number one, more than product/service quality, company alignment with values and profits.
The Opportunity to Build Trust is Now
With employees now looking at employers to lead change, the opportunity is there to drive higher levels of performance through increased trust.
One way for employees to develop this trust with their managers and CEOs is for the executives and decision makers of the company to communicate authentically with employees and gather employee feedback. Managers should learn from the employees who are working through the day-to-day processes and systems of the company. Even listening to ideas and taking the time to answer questions can improve the trust and engagement many employees have toward their place of employment.
Now is the time to review your internal communication plans and consider how your company is building trust in every message that goes out. Also consider the employee communication channels used and the effectiveness of each one. Messages sent to employees that never get read might as well be silence to the employee.
Overall, the research shows that individuals have a difficult time trusting others. To build trust in the workplace, be transparent, praise and recognize employees, listen and gather feedback and be an agent for change.
Interested in learning more about adding mass texting to your internal communications trust-building initiatives? Contact TextMarks or call 800-696-1393 to schedule a demo.