It’s a Question of Trust

If businesses fail to act responsibly, they will lose the trust of their employees.

Accenture (Number 61 on Fortune’s 2019 list of the 100 Best Companies to Work For) has just published a new research report The Trust Imperative: Decoding Organizational DNA, in which it says that businesses are waking up to a new source of business growth–the ability to unlock the potential of their people by using new technologies to secure vast amounts of data on work and the workforce.

This new data can help them create and scale new business opportunities. But Accenture says that just because companies can use this data does not mean they always should. “Ethical and data issues stand in the way,” according to Accenture. “If businesses fail to act responsibly, they will lose the trust of their employees and, as a result, suffer a loss of revenue growth. But if business leaders act responsibly, they can elevate both trust and financial performance.” As much as 12.5 percent of future revenue growth ($3.1 trillion) is at stake as a result.

Trust: The Ultimate Currency

This aligns with the research conducted by Great Place to Work, which found that among Fortune’s 100 Best Companies to Work For in 2019, an average of 87 percent of employees say they trust their employer when measuring them on credibility, respect, fairness, pride, and camaraderie. Furthermore, companies appearing on the 100 Best Companies list also see more than 3 times the quarterly stock performance of their less-inclusive peers.

Among the key findings from Accenture: While more than six in 10 C-level executives (62 percent) said that their organizations are using new technologies to collect data on their people and their work to gain more actionable insights – from the quality of work and the way people collaborate to their safety and well-being – fewer than one-third (30 percent) are very confident that they are using the data responsibly. The report is based on qualitative and quantitative research, including global surveys of 1,400 C-level executives and 10,000 workers across 13 industries.

Trust and Great Workplaces

According to Ellyn Shook, Accenture’s chief leadership and human resources officer, “At a time when companies are using newly available workforce data to drive greater value, responsible leadership is the key to building employee trust. Trust is the ultimate currency–it’s the path to innovation and fuels growth by unlocking people’s potential.”

Read Accenture’s full report here. To learn more about ways that your organization can measure employee experience, as well as learn how to have your company be certified as a great place to work, visit greatplacetowork.com/solutions/certification.

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Editorial Note: This article originally appeared in ABR Employment Services e-newsletter, HR Insights. It  was originally written by Michael Faley, a partner at SmithAmundsen LLC in the firm’s Labor & Employment Practice Group. 

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