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Trust takes centre stage in recovery for continued prosperity

Getting back to business requires a balance of meeting various stakeholder expectations. Whether addressing consumers, employees, suppliers, or partners concerns, using a Trust framework at the center of recovery plans creates a foundation for prosperity beyond the crisis of the day.

The four human dimensions of stakeholder trust


As leaders look to instill and build trust with their stakeholder groups, they must consider the individual needs across of the four dimensions of trust: physical, emotional, financial and digital. Balancing stakeholder trust is one of the most important items on executive agendas today.

Where are you on your trust journey? Explore our insights here.


Embedding trust into your strategy

Balancing competence and intent


Demonstrating trustworthiness involves two things

  1. Competence: deliver on promises in both words and deeds
  2. Intent: deliver with respect of all stakeholders

Competence: The ability to deliver on the promises to your stakeholders

Example: a Canadian supermarket dedicates shopping hours for seniors during the worst of COVID-19 outbreak to support a particularly vulnerable group.

Intent: The ability to live your core values

Example: a global hotel group provides free accommodation for frontline healthcare workers to limit COVID-19 exposure to family and lessening the burden of worry. 

Encompasses all functions of an organisation


Keeping Trust at the centre of your strategy distinguishes and elevates your organisation and connects your planning with purpose. 

  1. Lead by example: Resilient leadership and strategic governance.
  2. Deliver with excellence: Customer experience, digital engagement and product quality.
  3. Perform with distinction: Conduct, employee experience, financial integrity & health, technology & intelligence
  4. Secure the foundation: Compliance, crime, cyber, data integrity & Protection.
  5. Amplify core values: Culture, ethics, purpose, social responsibility.

Moving forward


Five fundamental questions to consider as you build stakeholder trust:


#1 As you prepare for the next normal in your business, how you are going to actively build trust? 


#2 Which dimensions of Trust matter most to each of your stakeholders and what will the focus be as you shift into your recovery strategy?


#3 Can you prioritise and competently deliver on what you are promising to your stakeholders?


#4 Are you communicating your intentions clearly and transparently to your stakeholders and where might you be falling short? 


#5 How are you monitoring and measuring your progress in addressing stakeholders’ needs across the four dimensions of trust?

Trust in Consumer business 


As consumer businesses continue to define their COVID-19 response strategies and on-going plans in the new normal, there are six topics to consider:


#1 Purpose: 

Now is the time for leaders to put their purpose under the spotlight. It’s critical for organisations to think through how their organisation is dealing with the COVID crisis and the way in which they are communicating with employees, customers and the wider community. The questions around legacy, what a company stands for and the way they have treated their people, stakeholders and suppliers, will be central to building long-term trust overall.

#2 Business strategy and recovery plans:

As organisations move into recovery, it’s important to question whether a rethink is needed on financial and non-financial aspirations. In an environment of continued uncertainty, companies will need to reflect on their overall value proposition to customers – with a laser focus on where market activation efforts are spent to grow and generate positive returns. During this time, data and analytics can provide an immense resource for driving more informed decision making end-to-end. 

#3 Customer activation and experiences:

In the new normal that organisations find themselves in, leaders will need to look at how their business strategy continues to put customers front and centre. This is where experiences comes into play – ensuring that customers are being communicated to in a seamless manner, without roadblocks or disconnected messages. From integrated marketing to real-time personalisation, digital marketing and more – putting customer activation and experiences first, will be key.  

#4 Workforce, workplace and work remobilisation:

When it comes to The Future of Work, we’ve all seen how COVID-19 has changed the way in which teams and organisations operate. From a work perspective, leaders are needing to look into how a dispersed workforce will perform overall and to determine the balance between virtual elements and face-to-face meetings. In adapting to the new normal, organisations need to assess any critical skill gaps and where disruptions across a workforce are occurring. From regulatory changes to public health directives and more, workplaces across the board are needing to quickly re-examine their protocols, processes, strategies and configurations. 

#5 Supply chain visibility and network optimisation:

When it comes to businesses implementing the recovery phase of their strategy, leaders will need to consider the best way of orchestrating supply chains that ensure the flow of products and cash in a safe work environment. From restarting to ramping up operations, it’s important that organisations have greater visibility of the risks across their end-to-end supply chains. From a thrive perspective, businesses will be looking to improve their resiliency, achieve a sustainable cost model and better leverage information and automation where appropriate. 

#6 Risk management:

Organisations will be assessing the parts of their business that they feel might have a greater level of risk exposure in light of COVID developments. From cyber security to risk exposures across a business, leaders will need to determine the level of resilience their company is operating at and what needs to be re-evaluated. As the landscape continues to evolve rapidly, safe workplaces will be top of mind.

In the new normal that organisations find themselves in, leaders will need to look at how their business strategy continues to put customers front and centre.

Banking & Capital Markets

Across the Financial Services Industry, we’re working with leaders and organisations on seven key areas as trust continues to be embedded:

#1 Maintaining economic stability

Understanding the levers different financial institutions and governments are pulling to reduce defaults, manage delinquencies, extend credit and maintain overall confidence in the system for individuals and businesses at scale. 

#2 Virtual financial closings

Helping organisations explore innovative options for how to virtually close audits and financial years with remote workforces, while also understanding and applying tax implications and regulatory changes.

#3 Potential permanence of regulatory change

Exploring the questions and predictions on decisions that regulators might take to sustain the industry, and whether those decisions will be transient or permanent. This includes looking at core processes, supply chains, risk appetites, compliance and cross-border transactions. 

#4 Cyber resiliency

Helping industry leaders understand the heightened risk and incidence of cyber-attacks that has been experienced across the industry. It’s a focus on providing a forum to discuss immediate and longer-term solutions for protecting individual organisations and the broader financial and economic ecosystem. 

#5 New norms for operational excellence

Exploring how financial institutions are sustaining critical operations while working remotely; working with core functions, and key technology partners to maintain status quo – or – pivot to new ways of working.

#6 Return to work planning

Supporting clients through the journey from response to recovery. This includes strategies for how to manage re-integration of workers back onto premises and the re-start ‘business as usual’ (or ‘business in the new normal’) operations. 

#7 Thriving in a new normal

Many banks are thinking about recovery, and beyond. These institutions will be vital to each economy and community’s ability to thrive on the back end of this global crisis. It will require, however, difficult decisions around restructuring and cost-reduction, valuation services, distressed assets, M&A, as well as assessing new investment priorities on modernisation.

It is important to help industry leaders understand the heightened risk and incidence of cyber-attacks across the financial services industry.

Mining & Metals


#1 Building trust as a social licence

Trust is critical for clients across mining and metals as it goes to the heart of having a social licence to operate. Communities and governments are looking for companies to go beyond compliance and create shared value within wider communities or host governments. While many organisations are leading the way on creating value within communities, there are also those who have not done this – leading to a breakdown in trust. Mining companies realise that the image of mining needs to change now and demonstrate their commitment to building on-going trust and creating value beyond compliance. 

Oil & Gas


#2 Personal health and wellness

COVID-19 has affected everyone’s personal health and wellness – and the Oil & Gas (O&G) sector is no different. With longer times at site and strict limitations imposed, stress levels of employees have certainly increased. With the ongoing threat of a slow recovery (18+ months) and a dramatic drop in pricing that is exaggerating the financial damage, there also is the added emotional stress of significant job losses.

The future outlook? Companies can build emotional trust with their employees through job security but this is tough knowing that further financial stress is on the way. Remote operations continue to be the largest risk for O&G infrastructure. 

#3 Financial and social pressure

There is extreme financial stress on companies from banks, shareholders and the market with the recognition that the O&G sector has been one of the hardest impacted. The industry is looking at survival right now but is simultaneously facing significant social pressure on issues related to pipeline access and climate change.

Power, Utilities & Renewables

#4 A trusted sector

The Power, Utilities & Renewables (PU&R) sector is generally well trusted. In some cases businesses have been trading for many years, while others are ex-government or arm’s length government organisations. In building upon trusted reputations, many have also recently increased their philanthropic activities. 

#5 Change in the sector

There was a lot of change already underway in this sector before COVID-19 hit – with the future of energy well underway. We expect the use of fossil fuels to decline, renewables to increase and the jury is out on the future of nuclear. Much of the change has been driven by decarbonisation. Distributed generation is taking hold and the trend to add these assets to the system will continue as technology matures. While the pace of adoption is uncertain, renewables will continue to grow.  

Utilities will also need to explore new customer-centric digital business models and the addition of low carbon generation sources to their portfolios. Even before COVID-19 hit, the sector had begun to embrace change with a focus on: revised strategies and operating models, new business models, M&A and modified supply chains, S4H, digital transformation, operational excellence, cyber risk management, grid modernisation and nuclear refurbishment.

Industrial Products & Construction


#6 Pressure on operations and liquidity


The Industrial Products & Construction (IP&C) industry has been significantly impacted by the COVID-19 crisis. Drastic decline in new orders, combined with a significant reduction in production capacity and disrupted supply chain is dramatically impairing companies’ financially - putting pressure on liquidity. In addition to navigating these issues, companies are organising themselves toward the restart of their operations in a new environment. 

Next steps? They need to rethink their work environment and the deployment of employees. It’s a future focus on changing the way suppliers and customers are approached, while driving an efficient and profitable cost structure. 

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