Do Your Employees Care If You Tell the Truth?

Fake News

Fake news is a big topic these days. A politician tweets out some fact, another one tweets that it’s fake, CNN reports it’s true, FOX News reports it’s not, and on it goes. Each has its base that prefers their version of the truth. This week the president is going after Google for skewing its search results against him. Who is right? It’s hard to know.

With all this happening on the national stage, how does it change what happens within a company and their internal communications? In the short term, it’s not having much of an effect. The fractured news media has such poor trust ratings that the public suspects anything they say. Luckily, that’s a much different story than in the workplace.

Earlier this year we commissioned a survey conducted by Qualtrics, surveying a national sample of 1,048 full- and part-time American workers in March 2018. One area we explored in this survey was employee trust. We asked employees about their level of trust in various institutions, including the news media and their organizations. Here are the percentages of employees who agree (adding together “Agree” and “Strongly Agree”):

  • I trust the information I receive from the news media – 29.5%.

  • I trust the information I receive from my organization – 68.6%

  • I trust my organization – 74.5%.

Employees trust their organizations. It’s unclear to me how the fake news battles will affect this. High profile companies, like Google and Facebook, are being drawn into the controversy, so it may start chipping away at their credibility with certain demographics.

For the vast majority of lower-profile companies, it’s a good idea to focus on internal matters and make sure employees are being updated regularly with accurate information. It’s our job to promote transparency in our communities. Let the storm of fake news rage outside of the organization. As the numbers show, companies have a good level of trust and all the benefits that go along with it. It’s important for our future to keep it that way.

Help Share News That Employees Can Trust

To help you get the right messages out to employees that they can trust, check out Marlin’s patented workplace digital signage system here.

Frank Kenna III
August 30, 2018

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