Just came across a fascinating survey conducted by a company called Edelman Employee Engagement. Its called the Edelman Trust Barometer 2012 Annual Global Survey.
The survey dives deep into what people and institutions are trusted and has a decade of results for comparison.
Here is the chart that I found most interesting. The rankings for trusted information sources from the point of view of CEOs and employees:
A few observations and thoughts:
1. Firstly, you have CEOs and employees trusting each other the least, next to government. That’s wild.
Is this a chicken and egg thing? Who started to mis-trust the other first? In any case, IMHO, the CEO is virtually 100% responsible to assume that it started with him/her and therefore must make the effort to build trust once again with employees. When successful, I think the mutual ratings will skyrocket.
2. Government official or regulator. I would hypothesize that when the average respondent hears the descriptor “government official or regulator”, they think of politicians and not government department leaders and workers (i.e. the ones that work FOR the government). So its hardly surprising that this group is at the very bottom.
3. There is a clear inverse relationship between the trust granted to a group and that group’s perceived sense of self importance and interest in personal or organizational gain.
At the top you have academics and technical people. Arguably, they are primarily motivated by and interested in espousing only what is accurate and true to the best of their knowledge and ability. Conversely at the bottom you have CEOs and politicians who, fairly or otherwise, are labeled largely as self interested: How much money I can make (CEOs) and how much power can I wield and how can ensure I get re-elected (politicians).
So its easy to hypothesize that you’d trust someone more if their perceived motivation is not self centred.
For CEOs of small business, its never been more important to earn the trust of your employees to ensure the success of your business and ergo, your own personal financial success. This survey should be mandatory reading for every CEO. And the honest and gutsy ones will realize they’ll be better off if they make the first move to build great employee relations and engagement.
Thanks for reading my blog and please visit again.
Authored by Geoff Vincent