GULF COAST SYMPOSIUM
In this crazy economic environment, is there such a thing as organizational trust and loyalty?
Additional Materials and Q&A
Additional Materials and Q&A
People seem to be losing trust in their employers as this COVID-19 crisis drags on. This trend can be seen in the Edelman Trust Barometer, a trusted survey that measures levels of trust in people across the country and internationally. Our own company, Management and Personnel Systems (MPS), recently conducted a local survey of HR professionals with similar results.
Edelman did a special report to update their 2020 Trust Barometer at the beginning of the COVID-19 crisis (www.edelman.com). Interestingly, they found that people trusted their employers to be the most credible source of information during these difficult times—more than the government, media, or non-profit organizations/agencies. Edelman also found that in 8 of 10 countries surveyed, “my employer” is seen as better prepared for the virus than “my country.” Respondents also indicated that they expect their company to respond effectively and responsibly (62 percent) to the virus. On the other hand, Edelman found that only 38% of respondents felt that companies were putting people before profits and only 38% said that their company was protecting their employee’s financial wellbeing and safeguarding their jobs. It seems that employees feel that organizations are acting competently to ensure their own survival, but they do not necessarily trust that their employer is looking out for them individually.
MPS did an online survey of HR professionals and business leaders that showed similar concerns. This survey was done in conjunction with a presentation that Dr. Cheryl Frankeny did at an online symposium for HR Houston with 182 attendees participating in the survey (May 8, 2020). We were interested in how the present COVID-19 crisis was affecting organizational trust.
When asked how much trust their employees have in their company to give them accurate information during the crisis and be transparent about company problems, over half (51%) responded with “moderate level of trust,” while 15% put “low, little or no trust.” Only one-third of those surveyed said that their employees have a high level of trust in the company. The survey also asked whether people in their company believe that the organization is looking out for their best interest. Only 15% said “all of the time” while 53% said “most of the time.” Nearly a fourth of the respondents said that people in their organization feel that the company is only look out for them “some of the time.”
This is likely a reflection of the high number of people who have lost their jobs over the past two months, as well as the apprehension that many have that they may soon lose their jobs as well. Company’s and HR professionals need to be aware of their employees’ anxieties and make a real effort to communicate with workers often and with transparency. Uncertainty causes anxiety, since it means that people don’t know what to expect. Honest, clear communication will not only help employees prepare for difficult times ahead but will help employees to be more productive and less apt to spend time and mental energy worrying.
Dr. Frankeny is committing her time and MPS resources to help leaders and organizations during the COVID-19 crisis. If you or your company need help with crisis management related to human capital (HR) concerns, do not hesitate to contact her @ Cheryl.Frankeny@mpsystems.com or visit our website (www.mpsystems.com) for online articles and resources being posted weekly.
Below is the PDF version of the Gulf Coast Symposium presentation.
A powerpoint version will be added on Monday, May 11th.
Because of time constraints we didn't have time to address your questions during the session. If you have any questions, please fill out the form below and we will add it to the Q&A post that will be uploaded on Monday May 11th.
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