The upsets and revelations of the past few years have sharply
heightened public cynicism about what companies say and the way
they behave. 'Why should I believe you?' we ask.
So how do you heal trust when it's damaged?
Trust is a complex response. The psychologist Morton Deutsch
defined it as "confidence that one will find what is desired from
another, rather than what is feared". And this confidence depends
on emotional perception as well as rational judgement.
To trust a person, or a business, we assess the probabilities of
gain and loss rationally, judging past performance and the
available data to help us predict future behaviour. But we also
need, emotionally, to feel confident that the person or business
will not take advantage of us, that their moral code will guide
them towards ethical behaviour that gives us a good experience.
Big business tends to see itself as rational and fact‑driven:
it's all about the numbers, emotion has no place. Yet clearly trust
in business rests not just on performance but on perceptions of the
ethos and motivations that lie behind it. That's why 'market
confidence' is such a critical factor in economic stability.
So if businesses are going to restore confidence, they need to
reassure us with both tangible and intuitive evidence of their
trustworthiness. We need to be assured of ethical standards, and
the ethos on which they are based.
And that's where a company's values come into play. They express
what a company stands for, its ethical code. Our belief in a
company is influenced by what it believes in. Employees are drawn
to companies that share their ethos. Customers and partners want to
do business with people that work to similar standards - 'my kind
(Extracted from 'The values of values', published by
RY. If you would like to obtain a copy or this publication
you can do so here)