By: Susan Isenberg, Global chair, Edelman Health
In all aspects of life, trust is a fundamental ingredient for strong relationships. When I think of my personal life, the people I trust the most are the ones who have been with me the longest – like my family and friends. These are the people with whom I’ve had the most extensive relationships; they have seen me over time – at my best and at my worst – and truly know who I am at my core.
I’m fortunate to have another long-term relationship: my employer, Edelman, where I’ve worked for more than 26 years. Like my other long-term relationships, this one too has evolved over the years and grown stronger and more trusted the more time I’ve spent on it. It’s a relationship that I’ve learned from, that has shown me the world and has provided me personal and professional satisfaction. I trust that at Edelman I can continue to reach new career milestones, and I trust that my values will continue to be reflected within the company.
As Edelman Trust Barometer data has shown, the employer-employee relationship is essential to maintaining and building trust. The 2019 edition reported that when employees trust their employers, they are far more likely to advocate on their behalf, stay loyal, be engaged and live the organization’s mission.
The good news is that globally, employees in a specific industry sector have a high level of trust in their sector; the bad news is that this is not true for the healthcare industry. While those who work in industries like energy, financial services and fashion trust their business sectors much more than the general population does, healthcare sees little of this employee trust advantage. Trust levels in healthcare are nearly the same across both employees and the mass population. Clearly, there is work to be done.
When looking at employees’ expectations of healthcare employers compared to perceived performance of healthcare employers in those areas, Trust Barometer data show healthcare lags behind in employee empowerment and CEO leadership. Healthcare companies should look to rebuild trust by doubling down on internal communication efforts and fostering engagements that are driven by employees themselves. Beyond their commitment to patients, health organizations must show how they are purpose-driven. Employees want to know what their employers are doing to make the world a better place – and how their job directly contributes to this societal impact.
In business as in life, trust is essential. For businesses, particularly those within the health sector, employees are ground zero for growing trust. Edelman has been helping clients do this for years, and I’ve been proud to be part of that. I’m honored to be named to the Health Influencer 50 list and look forward to what we will accomplish in trust and in health in 2020.