Trust in organizations is critical, right now it's absolutely vital to society. A study across ten countries found that employer communications are the most trusted source of information right now, over governments and the media. This means companies' and leaders' responses to COVID are more important than ever.
When I was an NCAA volleyball coach, I remember reading a coaching article about trust that stuck with me. It said something to the effect of, "There are two kinds of athletes. Those who care about what you know, and those that don't care what you know until they know you care." To be an effective coach, you have to reach them all.
This applies to executive teams too. In business, trust can be measured by competence and ethics. The Edleman Trust Barometer is one measurement tool. Coming into 2020, even as the economy and employment were strong, the Trust Barometer revealed that government, business, NGOs and media were not trusted.
Fast forward to now, leaders have an opportunity and responsibility to repair that mistrust. Edleman recently published a special report related to COVID that every leader should take note of.
It includes important findings to explore such as:
The findings have significant implications for leaders and this pushes the private sector to step up in ways they have not. Let's set the bar high and hold our leaders accountable to rebuilding trust.