Building employee trust & confidence in leaders

I was at a roundtable last week with a number of communications directors as well as others from related backgrounds, and the topic of trust in business came up, as it so often does. We discussed some of the contributory factors; corporate greed and pay offs coupled with apparent rewards for misconduct/failures exacerbating the situation; data privacy/loss of data; profiteering at the expense of stakeholders/society and other examples of abrogation of responsibility; finally tax avoidance/evasion etc.

I reiterated the point made in our latest research, The Missing Link, that trust is so often perceived as an external stakeholder and societal issue. But, clearly, trust is also an employee/internal issue and it has to be earned by the leader(s) of the company. It is certainly not a given and I suspect that leader(s) sometimes forget, or certainly neglect this rather important consideration and subordinate this undertaking to the challenge of earning trust and respect amongst external stakeholders.

Interestingly and tellingly, when we are given job descriptions/briefs for senior internal communications/engagement roles, there is never any articulation of this in the Purpose or Objectives. But surely, in the current environment, a key objective of any internal communications/engagement leadership role should be “to help build trust and confidence in the CEO and the executive/management team” because, in many cases, it is unlikely to be there.

If you are interested in the report you can read the executive summary. The full report in which we explore solutions to these challenges currently faced by CEOs (along with a number of others), is available to purchase for £500. Please comment below if you are interested in a copy.

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