Communication essentials: trust who? trust you!

Are you a leader who has consistently communicated with employees or your team during the pandemic? If so, congratulations. You did one of the hardest things to do last year—assumed responsibility, put your own well-being aside and truly realized the importance of what it means to connect on a personal level.

But hold on! Where are you going? The pandemic might be (?) winding down but your role as the voice of calm and reason has just begun. Why? Well, because you did such a good job at it you are now the most preferred—and most trusted—channel by the (new) No. 1 stakeholder in your organization: the employees.

You heard me right. Employees are the most valuable stakeholder, overtaking customers. Which makes your role so much more important when it comes to communicating with this very important group.

So let me back up. How do I know this? The new Edelman Trust Barometer is out (updated version, Spring 2021) and it says so. And when it comes to trust, this is one study that we should all be … well … trusting.

The report shows that employees have been ‘trained’ to listen to look to employers for the ‘real’ updates on COVID-19 restrictions, policies, etc. And in that window of time, the employer has become the most trusted voice. (On the flip side, a company’s social channel has become the least trusted source for corporate reputation/narrative.)

What does all this mean? It means that what was once a reactionary strategy, oh, about 15 months ago, is now a proactive permanent strategy that needs to be accounted for in annual planning.

Let’s recap:

  • Most important audience? Employees
  • Source employees trust the most? Employer/Leadership
  • Source of that critical information/channel? You

In other words, you have the trust—and the ear—of the most valuable stakeholder in your organization. You alone control that channel and what is shared in it. This sounds too good to be true.

So what will you do with the opportunity?