At the World Economic Forum in Davos, Edelman CEO Richard Edelman made a bold statement as he revealed his company’s 2017 Trust Barometer. Edelman said the best way for CEOs to win back trust is to focus on their employees instead of investors. The world, he said, has “flipped upside down. It used to be a pyramid of authority, now it’s upside down. The influence actually rests with the mid-level people, who speak peer-to-peer. If they’re for you, you win.”
The data from this year’s Trust Barometer made it clear that employees are the most credible spokesperson to communicate on every topic about which a company might need to communicate, beating CEOs, senior executives, activist consumers, academics, and media spokespersons:
In this environment, communicating with employees becomes more vital than ever. In this video, four IABC Fellows discuss the strategies and tactics that can help organizations engage employees with the understanding that they emerging as the company’s most trusted and important representatives to customers and the public—and vital to rebuilding the trust that is in steep decline.
The Fellow designation is the highest honor the International Association of Business Communicators bestows upon members. This month’s panel includes:
Priya Bates, a senior communication executive who provides strategic internal communication counsel in order to ensure leaders, managers, and employees understand the strategy, believe in the vision, act in accordance with the values, and contribute to business results. She is president of Inner Strength Communications in Toronto and previously served as senior director of internal communications at Loblaw Companies Ltd.
John Clemons, director of global employee communications at Newell Brands. John has held senior executive and consultant roles over the course of his career in corporate and organizational communication. He has special expertise providing strategic counsel and support for top executives and corporate offices of Fortune 500 companies. John has served as chair of IABC, and holds accreditations from both IABC and PRSA. In addition to his current position with Walmart, John has worked with Raytheon and Marriott (among others).
Kellie Garrett, a speaker, coach, and strategist, as well as an associate professor at Royal Roads Univesity. Before launching her own business, Kellie was senior VP of strategy, knowledge, and reputation for Farm Credit Canada. She is based in Regina, Saskatchewan.
Sheri Rosen, vice president of employee communication at Frost Bank in San Antonio, Texas. Before assuming that role, Sheri spent 14 years as president of Rosen Communication Group. For 10 years before that, she was assistant vice president of employee communications for USAA, the financial services company.