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Why Trust belongs on every board's agenda

Why does Trust matter? We’ve entered the Trust Age: a time where (mis)information is omnipresent, individual perceptions reign supreme, and digital security and data privacy are constantly threatened. Now more than ever, stakeholders expect organisations to do the right things and do them well. These expectations range from entrusting an organisation to safeguard one’s private data to requiring a company to have a strong stance on environmental, social and governance (ESG) issues.

Trust also drives performance. When stakeholders trust an organisation, their behaviours will reflect that Trust can affect more traditional key performance indicators that directly affect financial performance. Trust elevates customer and brand loyalty, which can lead to revenue. It enhances levels of workforce engagement, which can result in increased productivity and retention. And the data confirms it.

Trustworthy companies outperform nontrustworthy companies by 2.5 times, and 88% of customers who highly trust a brand will buy again from that brand. Furthermore, employees’ Trust in their leaders improves job performance, job satisfaction, and commitment to the organisation and its mission.

Despite the data, however, many leaders and organisations still view Trust as an abstract concept. At Deloitte, we believe that Trust should be managed proactively because, when Trust is prioritised and acted upon, it can become a competitive advantage. An organisation that positions Trust as a strategic priority—managing, measuring, investing in and acting upon it—can ultimately build a critical asset.

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