Dr. Bob’s Reads: Creating the High Trust Employee Experience

My purpose is to help all people flourish by creating and supporting healthy organizations.  As a part of this purpose, I am committed to finding and sharing best practices and resources regarding purpose-driven leaders, teams and organizations.

Today’s resource is the Annual Edelman Trust Barometer (AETB).  The AETB is a global survey that focuses on measuring the amount of trust people have in their governments, businesses, media and non-governmental organizations (NGOs are any non-profit, voluntary citizens’ group which is organized on a local, national or international level).  The 2020 AETB, conducted between 10/19/19 and 11/18/19, had over 34,000 respondents.  

Key takeaways from the 2020 AETB:

Low trust in businesses – “Despite a strong global economy and near full employment, none of the four societal institutions that the study measures – government, business, NGOs or media – is trusted.”

Growing cynicism around capitalism – 56% of the respondents agreed that “Capitalism as it exists today does more harm than good in the world.”

Fears eclipse hopes –  “Against the backdrop of growing cynicism around capitalism and the fairness of our current economic systems are deep-seated fears about the future.  Specifically, 83% of employees say they fear losing their job, attributing it to the gig economy, a looming recession, a lack of skills, cheaper foreign competitors, immigrants who will work for less, automation, or jobs being moved to other countries.”

Decent wages – “I trust that businesses will pay everyone a decent wage” – 31% agreed with this statement.

Supporting local communities – 41% feel businesses are positively “contributing to their communities.”

Keys for building trust for the future – “Pay fair wages, focus on education and retraining and embrace an all-stakeholders model.”

Bottom line:

The results of the 2020 AETB are a wake-up call for our businesses to embrace a new way of effectively building trust with all our stakeholders – starting with our employees.  Many of our employees are living in fear when it comes to making and keeping a livable wage.  This type of fear often fuels irrational and counterproductive behavior and results.

We must create and sustain high-trust employee experiences by adopting a “conscious capitalism” mindset that takes into consideration the needs of all stakeholders, the environment and shareholders.  My experience and research tell me that a shared purpose / commitment focused on making lives better for all stakeholders is the key in winning the trust and engagement necessary for sustainable success.

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