Eric Handler headshot Written by: Eric Handler

The Significance of Trust

Do you trust your leader?  Do your customers trust your company?  Do your employees trust you?  A recent study published by Edelman Berland provides some shocking data.  In 75% of the countries survey, informed publics believe CEOs are not viewed as credible spokespeople.  In fact, CEOs rank only above a government official or a regulator in trust.  Ouch!  In the “2015 Edelman Trustbarometer Annual Global Study,” the 15th annual such study found that academics, industry experts and technical experts remain the most credible spokespeople for business, standing in stark contrast to CEOs, who are not nearly half as trusted, with trust levels at 43%. 

In this age of social commentary, companies need to be courageous in their communication.  Experts believe the “hunker down” mentality just doesn’t work anymore and does not create a trustful relationship with your employees, clients, and stockholders.  It is time to create a roadmap to engagement.  This means becoming open to what people want to say and listening.  Develop clear and honest discussions – in the good times and the bad.  

Employee Support
The Edelman Study highlighted another interesting component of trust.  While companies and CEOs may not score high in trust, nearly 70% of the respondents said they trust company employees.  Diversification of voices matter.  A leader’s focus on building trust with the company’s employees can ensure they are the strongest supporters on social media.

Authentic, Consistent, Excellent
In today’s business, authenticity can be a great differentiator.   This is a core value at Handler & Associates and a key to the strong relationships we have maintained with our clients over the past thirty-seven years.  We also believe a key to trust is consistency.  Value and trust are created through excellent execution.  Let’s face it, your stakeholders will research you and discover who you are as both a leader of an organization and as a company.  Creating a culture of openness, clarity, and excellence will yield great dividends in building trust in your marketplace.

Additional Resource: A 3 minute video from Patrick Lencioni on the topic of Verifiable Trust

“For nearly four decades, Handler & Associates has partnered with clients to deliver high-quality, challenge-ready executive leaders.”