The future of trust

How trust in your organization can drive performance

Trust isn’t only critical to developing personal relationships, it’s also the heart of successful organizational strategies. To thrive in the new age of trust, companies should work to build trust equity every day. Doing so, however, will require making trust measurable.

Building trust equity to strengthen stakeholder relationships

Why does trust matter? We’ve entered the trust age: a time where (mis)information is omnipresent, individual perceptions reign supreme, and digital security and data privacy are constantly threatened. Now more than ever, stakeholders expect organizations to do the right things and do them well. These expectations range from entrusting an organization to safeguard one’s private data to requiring a company to have a strong stance on environmental, social, and governance issues. Despite this, many leaders and organizations still view trust as an abstract concept.

We believe that trust should be managed proactively because, when it’s prioritized and acted upon, it can become a competitive advantage. An organization that positions trust as a strategic priority—managing, measuring, investing in, and acting upon it—can ultimately build a critical asset.

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Make trust actionable: Four steps to embed trust in your organization

At Deloitte, we help our clients follow a structured approach to quantify and enhance trust, leveraging a suite of diagnostic solutions. As the adage goes, you can only effectively manage what you can measure. The following steps can help support a company’s journey to becoming a trusted organization:

Explore

What does trust mean within the context of your industry and sector? We work with organizations to capture the initial perception of trust within their walls, then determine if and how these perceptions differ across departments, business units, and/or geographies where they operate. We start to develop an understanding of what trust expectations exist in the eyes of different stakeholders.

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Diagnose

The next step is making trust measurable. To that end, we’ve developed a set of trust measurement capabilities that measure:

  • Actions an organization can take to elevate levels of trust
  • Calculation of point-in-time levels of trust with key stakeholders

After collecting and analyzing data, the results are juxtaposed with industry and sector benchmarks, ultimately providing a detailed, quantitative assessment of trust, including gaps, strengths, and opportunities for that enterprise.

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Prioritize

Once an organization is equipped with relevant data and is able to diagnose where trust gaps may exist, laying out a prioritized set of actions is essential. In an effort to determine what to act on first, we work with organizations, leveraging our research and benchmarking studies, to assist organizations as they prioritize the key areas of focus to help enhance, protect, and rebuild trust.

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Activate

This part of the process is essential and, likely, the most difficult: changing the organization from within and determining whether a high degree of competence and the right intent are applied to the items that are deemed highest-priority, and seeing those changes through. Trust rises and wanes over time, so exploring, diagnosing, prioritizing, and acting on trust should become part of the DNA of every organization and repeated on an ongoing basis.

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Looking boldly toward the future of trust

As you learn more about the importance of trust in your organization, be sure to consider purpose and strategic planning. No organization should wait for a crisis to strike to build trust. The trust age means that organizations should work to build trust equity every single day. Make trust your North Star, and your stakeholders may eagerly and confidently follow.

If you’d like to talk more about building trust equity and how TrustIQ™ could help your company, let’s talk.

Key contacts



Michael Cherny

Michael Cherny

Senior Lead, Centre for Trust
Deloitte Canada
Fatima Laher

Fatima Laher

Partner and Senior Advisor, Centre for Trust
Deloitte Canada