We recently published our 2023 Canadian Trust Barometer Report – a detailed look at Trust in some of Canada’s key institutions, including business, government, media and NGOs. This year’s report painted a stark picture of a deeply – and dangerously – polarized world. And Canada was certainly no exception.
Against a bleak backdrop, the one outlier is “My Employer,” which continues to garner the trust of 75 per cent of Canadians. As we weather the storm of growing economic pessimism, societal divisions and fears about the future, employers are seen as a unifying force and a trustworthy source of information.
For business leaders, this presents an unparalleled opportunity to take the lead as a force for good. It is critical to take a close look at what you stand for, and how you are engaging with the key social and political issues of today. The ability to demonstrate a balanced, human perspective, grounded in reliable research and facts, has become central to attracting, retaining and inspiring the best talent – and rallying your workforce to drive real and positive change.
If you’re working on defining your unique perspective as a leader and employer, here are some tips to bear in mind:
Stay True to Your Values
As a leader, you can’t tackle every problem. Part of defining your platform as an Executive is focusing in on topics that align closely to your personal and brand values. Your employees (and other key stakeholders) expect you to speak up – but to truly connect, you need to take a position that is authentic to you. Remember, the public and your employees will withdraw if they sense a disingenuous perspective.
Know What You Know
When it comes to prioritizing areas of focus, connection is key – but knowledge is power. Lean into topics that you know and understand, so you can share your perspective with confidence and ease. Draw from your experiences, leadership style and personal beliefs.
Add Something New to the Discussion
To break through in complex conversations, you need to offer a clear and differentiated point of view. Once you’ve determined where you want to channel your energies, leverage research and insights to identify and carve out a niche for yourself. Look to peers to understand what conversations are in the cultural zeitgeist – and find a space where you can lead the conversation.
Maximize Your Content
When you have something to say, make sure you say it loud. Look for opportunities to extend the ROI and shelf-life of your ideas by re-enforcing your POV across a variety of internal and external channels. Communicate your perspective regularly and consistently to build credibility and visibility over time.