Corporate governance

The business case for trust

Sacha Romanovitch Sacha Romanovitch

Our new report highlights ways in which trust can unlock the potential for sustainable growth in dynamic organisations by building competitive advantage, and offers advice for how this can be achieved.

Trust and integrity is essential to the effective and efficient functioning of markets that underpin a vibrant economy.

Our work with The Social Market Foundation has brought together existing evidence and tested it with businesses and employees to show that trust can affect the bottom line. Simply it shows how it fuels sustainable business success.

Why trust in business is so important

We know that trusted economies are attractive for investors and for businesses; trust has a powerful impact on driving sustainable business performance. Trust is key to innovation being accepted by customers, to building employee engagement leading to improved productivity, to creating collaborative relationships with suppliers and to retaining customers as loyal advocates.

And yet trust in business and government has been eroded in recent years and remains low as shown by the annual Edelman trust barometer. While regulators play their part in providing the framework and monitoring that sets the Code, there is a danger that this creates a "tick box culture" which is not enough to build and maintain trust.

Creating conditions for trust in business

It takes leadership to create a culture of "doing the right thing" and to create sustainable conditions for trust. The report shows how great businesses invest to create the culture to sustain trust as a competitive advantage – while others merely do the minimum to meet regulatory requirements. This mind-set shift is critical to the UK in playing its part in a global economy.

Looking at the state of trust across employees, senior executives in a range of businesses, including EDF Energy and Pret, this report highlights ways in which trust can unlock the potential for sustainable growth in dynamic organisations and provides some practical ideas for how this can be achieved. 

Read the report
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