Australians have been identified as some of the most brand-loyal consumers in the world but recent data breaches and the fallout from high-profile scandals, have seen trust in certain brands, companies and professions become considerably more shaky. It is possible for organisations to rebuild trust, but there are some key factors that come into play to ensure any attempt at trust repair is effective. 

In the September episode of the Academy’s Seriously Social podcast, journalist Ginger Gorman speaks with Professor Nicole Gillespie from the Trust, Ethics and Governance Alliance at the University of Queensland about trust and specifically how we build it, maintain it and what to do if we lose it. Professor Gillespie flagged three vital factors that influence our willingness to place our trust in a person, profession, or organisation – ability, benevolence and integrity – and noted that the initial time period immediately following a breach of trust is a make-or-break moment. 

‘Trust failures are both predictable and actually preventable,’ Professor Gillespie says. 

What’s really critical is an organisation’s early response. It’s really important to be timely, responsive, and credible in the first response, which is a much more effective response than what we’ve seen in some situations where organisations try to hide or cover up the problem or deny their responsibility or are really slow or unresponsive.”

The episode also examines ways that organisations can future-proof their culture against breakdowns in trust by building trust-supporting measures into everyday routines.  

Listen online or anywhere that you get your pods.