1. Building trust rings the cash register. There is both quantitative and qualitative research that demonstrates that doing what’s right is good for business. Trust is a competitive advantage. Demonstrate that and you can elevate ethical behavior from being “soft stuff” to making a bottom-line difference. 2. Building trust is a CEO and board-level issue. Leadership must be engaged or it won’t happen. What have we done recently to become more trusted by our most important stakeholders? The C-suite needs to ask that question regularly. 3. Building trust is measurable. Create a trust measurement tool that works for you. Establish a baseline. Revisit the criteria regularly. 4. Building trust requires that you identify trust vulnerabilities—product quality, employee turnover, team failures and so on—and do something about those vulnerabilities. Public relations professionals who are strong enough in their organizations to prevent a problem are even more valuable than those who manage crises well. The cost of prevention—dollars, lost focus, reputation, etc.—is much lower. 5. Building trust takes a commitment to training. Employees need to be sensitized to ethical issues and the damage they can do. They have to understand expectations for their behavior. They must buy into the need for ethics to be part of every person’s job.
FIVE KEYS TO BUILDING TRUST IN YOUR ORGANIZATION
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