Trust in organisations is lower than ever. Here’s how Oho can help.

September 2021
6 minutes

Trust is the ultimate form of currency – winning it is greater than any form of insurance. So it comes as a shock to learn that only 5% of organisations are earning the trust of Australian parents and caregivers when it comes to child safety accreditations.

According to Edelman, inventors of the Global Trust Barometer, “Trust defines an organisation’s license to operate, lead and succeed. Trust is the foundation that allows an organisation to take responsible risks, and, if it makes mistakes, to rebound from them.”

That’s because having consumers’ trust protects against market disruption, questions of competency and/or credibility, reputational damage and even changing tastes. Trust forms the foundation of all relationships – business or personal. Your customer needs to trust you to engage in business with you.

This is especially true for organisations with vulnerable people in their care, such as children, with 8 in 10 parents and caregivers trusting organisations to maintain their child safety accreditations to keep them safe.

But there is a growing trust gap between people and institutions, underpinned by a failing trust ecosystem.

Not only are we, as a global society, facing joblessness, homelessness, and over 1.9 million lives lost, but we’re also battling a leadership crisis and info-demic causing many people to lose faith in the people and organisations they know and follow.

Communities are struggling to believe that their trust is a top priority for organisations. And reports like The Betrayal of Trust indicate this valuable commodity is at an all-time low.

The flip side to this is that consumers are in a hungry mindset; they are seeking leadership and solutions. Not only do businesses have an opportunity to provide; they are being called forward and it is expected that they do so.

For businesses that engage vulnerable people, if there was ever a time to make a difference – that time is now.

What are consumers expecting of businesses?

People are no longer relying on society’s go-to leaders; trust in governments, the media, and religious organisations continue to drop. Businesses, instead, are seen as having higher levels of competency, ethics and trust; so consumers are instead demanding that they step in to solve society’s challenges.

In fact:

86% of people expect CEOs to speak out publicly about society’s challenges – be it the impact of the pandemic, job automation, local community issues, or societal problems at large.

68% believe CEOs should actually step in to act when the government does not fix the problems.

For organisations, this represents both a challenge and an opportunity. As a manager or business owner, you are being asked to take center stage – and you can either play the hero or the victim.

Or, as Edelman put it:

“While the world seems to be clouded by mistrust and misinformation, there is a glimmer of hope in business… Business must embrace its expanded mandate and expectations, with CEOs leading on a range of familiar and unfamiliar issues. It’s important to take meaningful action first and then communicate about it.”

 

If you don’t, CEOs risk their own credibility plummeting, as it has for our societal leaders and the CEOs of many other countries – like Japan, where CEO credibility has reached an all-time low of 18%, and France, at 22%.

With our problems more acute, the stakes are higher than ever. Consumers will back the businesses they respect, admire, and trust. But trust cannot be bought; it must be earned.

How can businesses take action and communicate on important issues to build trust?

 

1. Ensure what you are doing is safe

 First and foremost, organisations must be certain when it comes to the safety of their workers, volunteers and the people it cares for. If you have questions relating to technology, processes, or the suitability of staff, try our checklist to see if gaps may exist.

Trust takes a lifetime to build, but a single moment to be destroyed, especially when there is a breach in safety that could have been avoided. So, it’s important you take the necessary steps to prevent this from happening.

Don’t take this for granted either. It’s easy to assume the system works for vulnerable people. But the truth is 1 Working With Children Check is revoked every day in almost every state in Australia, and only 5% of organisations are maintaining their checks. Is your organisation in that 5%?

 

2. Be informed

Workforce checks and verifications vary from state-to-state, industry-to-industry, organisation-to-organisation, and person-to-person – depending on how, where, by who, and in what nature the organisation’s activities take place. There are notable differences between these responsibilities – and in the penalties that apply for non-compliance. In addition, the rules are constantly changing.

The onus is on organisations to stay informed and up-to-date, so the necessary checks, safety standards, and reporting requirements are always in place. If you don’t take responsibility, you are contributing to misinformation and potentially putting vulnerable people at risk.

What’s more, you may need to demonstrate you have been compliant with the relevant regulator or in legal proceedings; you could be held accountable if you are not up to standard.

Oho has made it easy for you to stay informed. Simply take this short quiz to know your risks and download our latest Guide To Compliance For Working With Children Checks.

 

3. Collect and provide quality information

The experts on trust for over 20 years, Edelman recommend that the top trust-building action a business can take is to guard information quality. Businesses must ensure that the information they provide is reliable and trustworthy.

Not just morally, but legally too: the onus is now on organisations to show they take reasonable steps for preventing abuse and neglect. This includes information being provided to employees, to regulatory officials and to the broader community.

53% of people believe that when the news media is absent, corporations have a responsibility to fill the information void.

Gone are the days where, in a crisis – like the crises of mistrust, abuse and the pandemic that we are in – silence was best. Consumers want businesses to comment, engage and interact on the issues that affect them. For organisations engaging vulnerable people, that means being proactive, transparent and honest about what you are doing to protect them.

You can let people know your employee information is quality-controlled by displaying the Oho badge. This acts as a third-party point of proof and declares that you’re taking actions to meet your good intentions by demonstrating compliance, safety, and trustworthiness.

  

4. Give back to the community

Businesses should be focusing on societal engagement with the same rigour, thoughtfulness and energy used to deliver on profits. We live in an age where consumers have the power; and where purpose goes, money flows.

Oho has made this step simple for organisations. By signing up, not only are organisations protecting themselves and their staff, but they are also helping stop abuse and contributing to a safer Australia at large.

5. Partner with organisations who are trustworthy, and stay away from those who aren’t

As a brand, your organisation is heavily influenced by the environments in which it appears. Work with organisations that share a common purpose and take collective action to solve some of the problems society expects you to.

By working with Oho, you’re joining a community of organisations committed to the protection of vulnerable people – and reaping reputational benefits by association.

“In times of turbulence and volatility, trust is what holds society together and where growth rebuilds and rebounds. Every institution must play its part.”

Oho exists to help your organisation focus on what matters; the quality of care that it delivers to vulnerable people every single day.

Try Oho today with a free 30-day trial. It’s simple to get started and no payment details are required.

With Oho, you can safeguard your organisation and those in your care. If you’re still unsure, reach out to us via the contact form and we can share more information about how our products can help you.

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