Following the release of Edelman's Trust Barometer special report, “The Belief-Driven Employee,” Jonathan Jordan, general manager of Edelman's Los Angeles office, talks with Doug Simon about how to build trust among employees on the latest "PR's Top Pros Talk" video interview.
"Back in the '80s and in some of the '90s, shareholder value was the most important thing. And as a stakeholder, it was all about that investor," Jordan says. "I feel like the pendulum has swung back, where today the employee is the number one stakeholder."
He tells Simon that the new Edelman report found several "eye-opening" issues. "There's this continued distrust," Jordan says, and also a "heightened expectation" of what employees expct from employers.
"When those expectations are not met, we're seeing employee activism like we've never seen before," he says. In addition, he notes that "societal issues have become extremely important." And employees are expecting genuine engagement. He discusses "trust that's earned versus trust that's lost when an organization stands up and just says something about what's happening in the world."
Another major issue that's addressed is employee burnout. "In those cases where organizations are doing things to proactively manage burnout, you're seeing massive gains in trust," while "organizations that kind of ignore this or just expect productivity like normal" are seeing massive attrition issues.
Jordan outlines a few ways in which companies can effectively handle burnout. "One is just acknowledging that it's really tough," he says. He also stresses the importance of listening as opposed to teling.
The importance of diversity is another topic of discussion. "A part of my own personal passion has been 'How do we diversify?'" he tells Simon. "I know this is a top conversation for a lot of folks, but we've got to do better. There are some key challenges that have been talked about, but I think I'm happy that in this role I can take action."
With a background that includes stints as a management consultant, a creative and an employee at a record label, Jordan is a big believer in bringing people with non-traditional backgrounds into PR.
"On paper, I'm sure they would have passed on me," he says about coming to Edelman. "I think that makes me look at resumes differently. And I hope that everyone in our industry can look at it as a resume and not hold a background that might look different on paper" against a potential employee.
Interested in taking part? Contact Doug Simon at firstname.lastname@example.org