We are living in a world in which trust, on many levels and in various spheres of life, has been broken. When you take a closer look at trust, you realise that everything we do, whether it be socially, at home or in the business/work space, either builds or breaks trust.

So, what is it that caused this overwhelming lack of trust the world over, and does it affect your business? 

For starters, we collectively experienced two-plus years of a pandemic on top of a surge in fake news; that will definitely do it. Research into the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic on the world has shown that one of the major, long-lasting impacts is that globally, trust is broken.

The fabric of trust-relationships between governments, health officials and citizens, companies and their employees, as well as businesses and clients were, by and large, torn to shreds by the pandemic thanks to often conflicting messages communicated at us. The messages received were constantly evolving as the situation developed, and more information became known as research was hastily done. As a result, the mistrust naturally began to grow.

On the work front, the foundation of the working world we once knew was shaken to its core, and lockdowns resulted in the majority of the world’s workforce being thrust into unknown territory – the totally foreign world of remote-work, dotted with a myriad of both perks and pitfalls. With two years of remote working, many discovered more perks than pitfalls and reported higher productivity and far greater job satisfaction, which led to a concrete shift in people’s ideas about work-life balance. The foundation shaking didn’t stop there, either, and another aftershock is now being experienced by the workforce as more and more companies call staff back to the office.

All of the above has occurred against the backdrop of a hyper-connected world, flooded with fake news which infiltrates every aspect of life from politics to business. Fake news can be spread, read and believed within mere minutes, and on a global scale, thanks to social media. Although information and ‘news’ are fleeting and will disappear as fast as they came, the damage in most cases is done, remaining with a very real impact on the ‘real’ world. Fake news impacts business in very real ways – stocks and shares can plummet within hours, solid, longstanding reputations can be ruined in minutes and it even reaches as far as recruitment.

Reputational damage from the outside can cause potential candidates to stop and think twice about even applying for a position with a company, or could play a part in their decision making process and result in them accepting an offer from a competitor. Fake news in the form of half-truths and rumours can spread like wildfire amongst employees and fuel the fires of ‘internal politics,’ and ultimately disrupt the entire culture of your business. This internal fake news not only affects retaining existing staff, but also has the potential to do external damage to your brand image, as employees are the true brand advocates of a business in today’s working world.

What’s the solution?

In a nutshell – fight fire with fire. Communicate and fight fake news with the truth in order to rebuild trust. The influx of fake news has created a need for transparency – for employers to be authentic, credible, forthright and trustworthy.

The rumour mill keeps on churning, and employees are talking about where they work – feed the mill with truth. Share information freely, honestly, consistently and clearly with employees, and give them good stories to share. Be upfront about uncertainty and admit to mistakes whilst having a clear plan to avoid repeating them.

Give trust – give employees a trusted platform where they feel safe to share thoughts and ideas, where they feel they are heard. Even more importantly, show them you trust them to perform, whether working in-office or remotely. Employees who feel trusted are more likely to stay, share ideas, be more creative, innovative and solve problems.

PM Connection can help you rebuild trust by helping your business to communicate its true, best self to potential candidates from our amazing pool of talented job seekers. Contact the team at PM Connection and give us a try – we promise you won’t regret it.