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Taking Advantage of Improved Trust in Companies During the COVID-19 Pandemic

  • Survey from PwC finds that four out of five employees trust their company as much or more than they did before the COVID-19 pandemic
  • Cybersecurity, employee treatment, ethical business practice, and admitting mistakes were the top drivers of trust
  • Tips on how businesses can improve employee and consumer trust in their company

Summary by Dirk Langeveld

During the COVID-19 pandemic, businesses have worked to continue offering their products and services, come up with innovative new models to safely connect with consumers, and support people in their community. These broad efforts have resulted in improved trust between consumers and companies, according to an August survey by the professional services network PwC.

The survey of 503 business executives and 1,001 consumers aims to provide data that can help employers assess what establishes trust in their company and how they can improve their own trust levels. Respondents generally agreed that the top drivers of business trust were data protection and cybersecurity, good treatment of employees, ethical business practices, and admitting mistakes.

PwC also offered tips on how businesses can improve their trust levels, taking steps such as clearly defining trust, considering all stakeholders as well as conflicts among them, taking actions to improve trust, and utilizing technology.

  • 80 percent of employees said they trust their company as much or more than they did before the pandemic
  • 49 percent of consumers said they started purchasing more from a business because they trusted it, while 44 percent stopped buying from a company due to distrust
  • Roughly one in five employees chose to work at a company because they trusted it, with the same share opting to quit because they stopped trusting it
  • Employers face challenges in converting employee trust to loyalty, as workers have been more likely to quit after the pandemic disruption; PwC says companies can explore how they can offer schedule flexibility, upskilling and career development opportunities, and other employee accommodations
  • Employees were more likely than business leaders to place importance on the accountability of leadership; PwC says being transparent about mistakes and a company’s efforts to improve can help improve trust
  • Diverse stakeholder priorities and views can complicate strategies on building trust, but the majority of respondents held the CEO and CFO most accountable for establishing trust in a business

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