Step up and deliver: The role of employers in a crisis

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Trust is a tricky emotion. It requires a belief that someone or something is reliable and truthful, which often makes trust hard to establish and easy to lose.

People are rather skeptical these days about trusting our primary institutions. Back in January, the 2020 Edelman Trust Barometer survey discovered that the government and media are widely viewed as incompetent and unethical—two indicators of trust.

Fast forward two months, and we find ourselves ensnared in a global pandemic. Who we trust is now a rather acute challenge in the midst of the COVID-19 crisis.

To uncover how coronavirus impacts people’s trust levels, a new Edelman survey was conducted in ten countries and found that the most trusted spokespeople are scientists, doctors, and global and national health organizations like WHO and the CDC.

Conversely, government officials and journalists still scored poorly. Under 50% of those surveyed cite trust in these institutions and almost three-quarters voice concerns around “fake news” and incorrect information being shared about the virus.

Who do we trust during this global epidemic?

Any guesses about whom people are most likely to believe when seeking information about coronavirus?

Turns out, people trust their employers. In the U.S., survey respondents stated that:

  • 51% believe their employer is well-prepared for the virus versus 43% who trust that their country is prepared.
  • 75% believe businesses are responsible for protecting employees from the virus in the workplace and ensuring employees don’t spread it to the community.
  • 69% of Americans trust their employer to respond responsibly and effectively.

Perhaps the most noteworthy finding is that global respondents voiced a shared belief that their employers are a trustworthy source for information about the COVID-19. In fact, employers scored 27 points higher than government and media, and 18 points higher than general businesses and NGOs, for those who seek a truthful source for knowledge and updates about the virus.

Why on-demand learning is key for delivering on employee trust

Collectively, we are navigating through uncertain times with imperfect information, but people are turning to their employers as a credible source of information. And employees want to hear from their employers a lot. While 20% would like multiple communications every day, 63% expect at least a daily update about the virus.

What’s the best way to deliver consistent and constant updates to all employees that ensures everyone sees them?

Only a modern learning environment can provide this kind of on-demand learning and real-time communications that are always available to employees. You must have digital content that can be accessed and viewed properly on any mobile device. Without it, you risk losing employee trust and frustrating those who can’t easily receive updates and train on the newest policies and procedures.

For employers, it’s also crucial to have an easy manner in which to create and distribute new information. Content creation tools should empower the delivery of content and communications with minimal effort. And you should rest assured that everyone in your organization will have access to and receive that information immediately.

Invest in learning made simple

When a pandemic like COVID-19 strikes, the needs of employees become more urgent. With the weight of truth on the employer’s side, now is the perfect time to deliver what employees need with speed and agility: On-demand learning, digital knowledge, and communications on mobile devices.

The good news is that investing in a modern learning environment matches the needs of your workforce at all times, not just during a crisis. And that’s a truth you can trust.