New research from the City of London Corporation shows that many people believe having integrity is critical to rebuilding trust in financial and professional services businesses.
The City of London Corporation’s Business of Trust programme was launched in November 2017 and established five Civic Principles as foundations for increasing trust in business.
- Competence and Skills
- Value to Society
- Interest in Others
- Clear Communications
Key findings from the research show that almost half of people (46%) say a focus on integrity is the most important principle business should focus on in order to build public trust.
In the survey, more than 9 out of 10 people said that competence and skills, integrity, value to society, clear communication and a focus on the interests of others are key principles that businesses must consider in order to be trusted by the public.
Views varied depending on occupation and sector.
54% of respondents from Accountancy, Banking and Finance prioritised Integrity, while 36% of respondents from Healthcare prioritised Competence and Skills .43% of respondents from Marketing, Advertising & PR prioritised Clear Communication.
The survey, conducted between March and November 2018, sought views on these principles, and what practical actions people and organisations can take, to increase trust in business.
There were over 600 respondents to the survey open to individuals in a personal or professional capacity. Respondents came from professions and communities from across the UK, including healthcare, law, education, government and business.
Millennials have different views
The survey also found that Millennials have different views on the drivers of trust than their parents and grandparents. Only one in ten of those aged over 66 prioritise ‘Value to Society’ as the most important driver of trust in business, but this principle becomes increasingly important as we move down the generations. More than a quarter of those aged over 19 and under 30 (26%) said it was the most important principle to improving trust.
Results showed a clear desire, across all ages and sectors, for businesses to have a clear purpose beyond profit-making.
How to increase trust
Other popular actions to increase trust included: empowering frontline staff with the tools to resolve customer/client problems, incorporating organisational values into appraisals, and publishing Chief Executive’s contact details, so that stakeholders can provide direct feedback.
The City of London Corporation has launched a new website which provides practical help to businesses to guide them on their trust journey.
It will also provide inspiration to think about how their organisation engages with its stakeholders. What more can they do to build and maintain trust? Where do they want to be in the future?
[Words: Corporation of London]