Expectations of the business community have reached a new high. Amid social and economic disruption, the public increasingly sees corporations as agents of stability. In fact, business is the most trusted institution in America, according to the Edelman Trust Barometer. That puts corporations above NGOs, the government, and media when it comes to trust. But trust is tenuous—it’s hard-won and easily lost. To maintain trust, companies must be intentional when it comes to thinking through their stakeholder relationships.
In our latest report, we explain how to create trust with stakeholders through the board’s agenda, activities, and strategic decisions.
There’s a growing realization that companies must consider a broader group of constituencies in a different way than they may have in the past. Executives increasingly recognize that to effectively serve shareholders, they need to manage for “the benefit of all stakeholders” as the Business Roundtable has stated. To do this, boards and directors need to have not only a grasp on who those stakeholders are, but also to know what those stakeholders expect from the company and to acknowledge that keeping their trust matters.
Viewing trust as simply another item to add to the board’s already crowded agenda would be a mistake. Rather, trust is a theme and a strategic imperative that should shape all the board’s deliberations and serve as a beacon to guide management.
Questions that boards need to ask about building trust:
…read more in the report.