“The old saying that trust needs to be earnt is wrong. Trust is a choice. If it needs to be earnt then maybe there lies the problem”​

This was a comment made in a recent interview and is a fair truth. It has been well documented that trust has been in decline for many years. Many point towards the 2008/9 Crash as the starting for the real decline, others to increased process, others to the increased demands from stakeholders, others point towards social media. Forbes note that over 63% of employees do not trust their leaders at work. Deloittes note that the majority of millennials do not trust in the ethics of their leadership teams. It has been a bleak picture.

But there is a shift with a growing voice saying that this can be easily changed and that “trust is a choice”. As the above comment noted the old saying that “trust has to be earnt” is maybe where many problems begin as all the onus is placed on another person. Trust needs to be a partnership with both sides choosing to behave with openness and care.

At the heart it is all about behaviours and the shift is happening as many, across all walks of life, are demanding to see better behaviours as the world rebuilds. Leaders have been the ones who have been most heavily criticised but they have faced their battles with increased pressures placed upon them from stakeholders. The bigger issue is trust broke down with the decline in the social contract – an implicit agreement by all in society to co-operate to support the advancement of society. Many feel this lost its way and that many companies showed little real care for social agendas until recent years when they have begun to once lead the way in many areas.

As many reports note, the emerging generations not only want to see greater behaviours, greater care for society but they also want to see more done in the sustainability arena and want to work for those companies who do act where it matters. If you want the best talent, then one has to act in a way that will engage them.

After all the pain of the pandemic, a new exciting age may well emerge with a stronger business philosophy and stronger partnerships between companies and their suppliers, their employees and their clients.