Trust is earned. When someone says they “trust” you or your company, they’re telling you that they believe in your truth, reliability, ability or strength to deliver on your claim/promise. It’s the conclusion you reach based on your past history and how you presented it. If you’ve earned trust, then you or your company is likely to outperform your “competitors” over the long-term.
Trust Across America found last year that the stocks of companies deemed more trustworthy have greatly outperformed others. After quantifying the value of trust by looking at 10 stocks of the most trustworthy companies 10 years ago, they discovered that 5 were bought by other companies and the other five gained an average of 868% vs. 278% for the SP 500. Similarly, the 10 most trustworthy companies from five years ago and three years ago also handily topped the S&P 500.
How would you measure trust? Studying companies like Microsoft, Nike, Nvidia and Starbucks, they focused on seven traits including:
- Clarity of corporate purpose, values and culture. Employees know how to practice them, bring strategy to life and have systems in place to support what’s important and values
- Corporate integrity. Leaders act in respectfully authentic ways, consistent with purpose and values
- Culture of transparency and truth-telling, even when it hurts
- Communication within the company as a priority before other stakeholders
- Belonging – which is more than just diversity and inclusion
- Focus on relationships vs. transactions, internally and externally
- CEO serves as Chief Communications Officer to meaningfully connect internally and externally.
How do you measure trust? Which traits do you see most important in building trust among employees, customers and shareholders? Do you use a Net Promoter Score, is it time for a trustworthiness Score?