Measure, Predict & Build Trust for Success!

IRI Podcast Episode on Building Trust At Work

In an increasingly insecure world, trust has become even more critical to the success of an organization. Trust is what binds employees to employers, and customers to companies, and while much lip service is given to the concept of trust, it’s important that we actually stop and consider what we can do to build trust in the relationships that matter the most to our businesses – our relationships with our customers, our workforce and our partners. Today’s guests are Ashley Reichheld, a Principal at Deloitte Digital and Amelia Dunlop, the Chief Experience Officer at Deloitte Digital. Ashley and Amelia are the co-authors of a new book titled The Four Factors of Trust: How Organizations Can Earn Lifelong Loyalty. Here, they explain:

  • Why trust is on the decline today;
  • Why measuring trust can be a challenge;
  • The traits that make up the Four Factors of Trust; and
  • Why building trust at work is so critical for a company's success!


If you prefer to read along while you listen, we've done all the hard work for you! We listened back to this episode and took notes below, and access is free! 

 

Establishing Trust and Loyalty

  • Companies have been measuring and assessing trust for decades, and studies show that trust is on the decline; not just for businesses, but for media, religion, government and more. 
    • Trust establishes the pathway to loyalty and so much more. For businesses, when customers trust the brand, they continually show up. 
    • When employees trust the company, they are more motivated to work. 
  • Ms. Reichheld and Ms. Dunlop were inspired to think about how to elevate the human experience while working on the same leadership team. 
  • Ms. Reichheld ran a Christmas tree farm as a teen that relied on the honor 

system, so she knows the value of loyalty when it comes to business. Her uncle, Fred Reichheld, developed the Net Promoter System, which is a widely used system by companies to understand customer loyalty.

  • There is more than 40 years of research to understand the root of trust and loyalty. To build upon that, Ms. Reichheld and Ms. Dunlop tested factors that make up trust for both customers and employees. 
    • Then, when they developed the right methodology, they tested their hypothesis on an actual company, to make sure it was actionable and easy to use.

In order to develop an even better understanding of trust, they surveyed 200 people over 25 business sectors, asking questions about what makes a company trustworthy, and what makes them not trustworthy. They also wanted to understand the value of trust by pairing the survey responses with financial data.

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The Four Factors of Trust

  • Trust is difficult to measure and describe because it is very human, and can be very emotional and can describe a relationship between two people or entities. 
  • Trust can broadly be defined as making good promises and keeping them. Making a good promise shows strong intent, and is demonstrated by showing humanity. This also demonstrates transparency when that promise is clear. Keeping that promises shows capability and competency, and reliability in following through.
    • Humanity: A company demonstrates empathy, kindness, and equity. This is directly linked to how companies act and respond. When a company shows humanity, customers remain loyal.
    • Transparency: Transparent companies are trust winners, because it shows that companies can be clear about their intentions and their reasoning. 
    • Capability: A capable company is one that demonstrates the ability to create quality products, and a strong work experience. 
    • Reliability: When a company proves their capability over time, and across different situations, that demonstrates reliability. 
      • When a brand proves both its capability & reliability, consumers are going to be more likely to continue to go back to this company, and employees are going to stick with the company because that trust through competency has been established.
  • Being able to demonstrate these four elements of trust can differentiate these companies, and make trustworthy companies stand out in the crowd. 
  • These factors rely on each other to establish trust, but the degree of how influential each of these factors are in developing trust depends on the industry and situation. 
    • The companies that are trusted above all are the ones that outperform on every factor.

Measuring Trust

  • The HX TrustID is a tool that measures the trustworthiness of companies based on the four factors of trust. 
    • Companies are able to look at how well they are doing on each of the four factors, and create actionable guidance on how they can improve. 
    • As companies earn trust, they also earn loyalty. Adversely, when a company loses trust, they also lose loyalty. 
  • When a company receives a low trust score, it can be hard to know what they can do to improve. The HX TrustID offers examples of what actions to take to improve their scores for each factor for trust.
  • Most executives and companies measure their trustworthiness and loyalty in some way, and the HX TrustID is able to predict and drive behaviors that can grow net promoter scores.
  • The companies that are the most trusted and “get it right” are the ones who are competency leaders, humanity leaders, and the trust winners. 
    • Transparency can be the secret sauce for the most trusted companies, and can be undervalued.
    • Trust is also earned in moments of vulnerability, and companies can demonstrate that through transparency. It is really becoming a differentiator for companies because it demonstrates authenticity.

Building Trust Personally and Professionally

  • Leaders also need to have tools of their own to build trust at work.
    • There doesn’t necessarily need to be a formal training tool or corporate guidance to ask internally if a team is meeting the four factors of trust: demonstrating humanity, transparency, capability, and consistency.
    • Holding teams accountable to this guideline, and measuring trust can create an overall more productive and supportive team.
  • It is important to be able to have the tools and actionables to build trust at work, but it is also applicable to everyday life. 
    • It’s a good way to check in on a personal level to see if the four factors of trust are present.
  • In HR departments, trust is essential. If a company prioritizes building trust at work, those employees are then able to develop trust with customers. And when a customer trusts a company or a brand, that company measurably outperforms it’s competitors.
    • However, in today’s challenging talent market, and in a time where employee trust is low, and working in a hybrid working environment, it can be difficult to build trust, but is still critical. 
  • It is important for companies to look at building trust at work across certain demographics
    • Statistically, women go into a workplace being more trusting than men, but that trust is lost over time. 
    • It is also important for businesses to make trust a company value. When companies measure trust, they are also inherently measuring motivation, and that can open up a new way of assessing productivity among other factors. 
    • Companies also must demonstrate trust in order to get trust back from their employees. 

Ashley Reichheld Background

Amelia Dunlop Background

Links

Contact

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About the Author Jacqueline Gregory

A 20+ year media veteran, Jacqui has produced custom communications for some of the world's best-known brands. Producing ProjectHR has been one of her favorite ways to engage and delight HR and Labor Relations professionals!

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