Rebuilding Trust From the Ground Up
The workplace has become a hard hat zone. Here we provide tools to clear the rubble and rebuild confidence.
This executive dossier includes the following articles:
The Foundations of Trust
Rosanas Martí, Josep Maria
The loss of trust, both between people and between companies and institutions, is one of the fallouts of the crisis. The author believes that the secret for recovery lies in understanding the foundations of trust in order to restore it. According to his analysis, trust has real, practical, economic value that increases efficiency and enables the creation of other goods and values. But rather than merely calculating its value and implementing measures to deal with the absence or presence of it, the better way to build trust is through greater commitment to values such as honor and integrity.
Cardona Soriano, Pablo; Wilkinson, Helen
During times of recession, feelings of distrust in organizations become acute, making it more necessary than ever to understand how trust is created and maintained. According to the authors, the relationship between managers and subordinates is fundamental to building and maintaining trust. In this article, they present a model based on the results of an international study and their own professional experience as coaches. Put simply, when the behavior of managers is trustworthy, employees trust their managers more; consequently, they become more involved in their work and demonstrate “organizational citizenship.” This greater involvement, in turn, strengthens their bosses’ trust in them, which reinforces reciprocal attitudes of trust. In this way, a virtuous circle of trust-building is generated in organizations.
Private Label Strategies
Restoring consumer trust remains an uphill battle for retailers, as for many others. The rise of private label (PL) products can, in fact, create a new reputation and identity for the retailer. Before, it was believed that consumers purchased these cheap knockoffs because they trusted in the store. But, as PL products have grown in quality to rival that of leading brands, a surprising about-face has emerged: customer satisfaction with PL products is by far the most important driver of trust in the retailer. The author suggests some strategies that retail managers should keep in mind to develop trust and long-term loyalty using private labels. At the same time, large retailers can boost trust levels among consumer groups by tapping opportunities with local store brands – as higher consumption is often associated with wide-ranging PL brands that are values based and community linked.
Reforming Responsibility in Spain
Confidence indicators in Spain are at an all-time low. The reason is not so much the economic crisis as the country’s failure to introduce structural reform. The author discusses two partly complementary hypotheses, identifying the problem as one either of institutions or of values. The institutional hypothesis suggests that the political system fails to translate citizens’ preferences into effective reform. According to the values hypothesis, many citizens reject any reform that will require them to work harder or consume less. Based on the reforms carried out over the last half-century and the characteristics of Spain’s most successful companies and individuals, the author argues that what is needed to rebuild confidence and overcome the economic crisis is an injection of competition and responsibility.