There’s no question, we are living in very challenging times. In an attempt to find stability and security in this crazy world some can be guilty of throwing themselves headlong into work, but is that wise?
I recently took time to step back from the day to day maelstrom of a typical working day. It was a precious opportunity to catch up with reading those dozens of “interesting” links, feeds, blogs, white papers and reports I store on my phone, optimistically thinking I’ll find the time to read. For once that time was made, now to become a weekly habit.
One of the nuggets of data I discovered in my trawl of hyperlinks was the global Trust Barometer report by Edelman. It might not sound that interesting I’ll grant you, but the findings are quite fascinating, especially if you’re responsible for running an organisation, and here’s why.
Edelman’s report is their 19thglobal annual trust and credibility survey. A significant undertaking, conducting 33,000 online surveys with adults of working age 25-64, each taking between 20 and 30 minutes to complete. It’s not a lightweight piece of work.
I would encourage you to read the report, but if too busy, here’s the edited highlights.
The stand out item is the dramatic increase in trust toward the employer away from government, media or general business community. We are more trusting of our employers not least because of the lack of trust in alternatives such as politicians who are seen to have failed the public.
A direct consequence of this increase in trust is the expectation that CEO’s will be the ones to lead the fight for change. 76% say they want CEO’s to lead change instead of waiting for government decisions. 73% also expect their employer can improve the outlook both for their job security by increasing profitability but also the impact on social conditions within their community.
Employers who actively engage in such social, community support can expect to see greater commitment (83%), testimony (78%) and loyalty (74%) from employees.
The leaders in these employer organisations will be expected to lead on change within their communities as well as direct attention to the values, future, purpose and operational matters.
This move toward greater trust has offered an opportunity for a new Employer – Employee contract covering four distinct areas.
- Lead Change
- Empower Employees
- Start Locally – Community Investment
- CEO Leadership – Commitment inside and outside the organisation
When I reflected on the findings of this research it began to make sense. In times of great uncertainty, we will look to leaders to take decisive action as see us through to safe, successful territory. Without venturing into the minefield of political leanings it’s pretty clear to all that faith in the political process is severely damaged. Brexit, Cambridge Analytica, Trump tweets, French protests “gilet jaune”, terrorism, climate change, plastic pollution, intolerance and rise in extremist attacks…no wonder we’re seeking alternative answers.
With many politicians now seen as culpable for the predicaments we find ourselves in and the media accused of bias or fakery it’s our employers who offer the stability we need and hence the findings point to an increased trust and expectation of effective leadership and a clear direction for staff to follow.
No one is suggesting the world’s CEO’s organise a global political coup but within the scope of their authority and reach of local communities in which they operate they should be making positive change.
One further piece of associated data gleaned from the research indicates a dramatic increase in news engagement, a 22% uplift in activity both in consumption and significantly sharing of content.
This trend toward greater online engagement should not be missed by leadership teams. If harnessed in a positive manner it could help boost efforts to convey key internal and community focused news.
So, there we have it. No pressure business leaders, the future is in your hands, now you just need to deliver.
For the full research report – 2019 Edelman Trust Barometer https://www.edelman.com/trust-barometer