Trust Part 2: Your Biggest Competitive Differentiator For Attracting and Retaining Top Talent

This article recaps our VP Customer Success, Chief Diversity Officer Sydney Archer’s virtual workshop of the same name at SaaStr Annual 2021. Read Trust Part 1: Your Biggest Competitive Differentiator With Customers and Investors.

Prospects, candidates and VCs need to know you’re trustworthy before signing the dotted line. Because once they do, you become a steward of one of their most valued assets—their data and their customers’ data. 

But trust is equally crucial in the war for talent as a company’s reputation and actions become more important to job seekers. Employees are actively looking for workplaces where their everyday activities match the company’s stated values. So how do you cultivate trust to attract and retain talent? 


Create a Culture That Promotes Innovation

Employees are actively looking for workplaces where they see alignment between their values and a company’s stated values. 

Seven years ago, Sydney didn’t hear many questions about diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI) in interviews. She wasn’t quizzed about a company’s position on charitable activities and community engagement. Today, that’s part of almost every interview Sydney conducts. Today’s candidates are doing their research ahead of time. They’ve checked out employer websites and talked to colleagues on LinkedIn. They’re proactively seeking out companies with values that align with their own. For example, out of 14,000 professionals surveyed on LinkedIn, 46 percent want to hear directly from your employees about what life is like at your company.

By 2025, 75 percent of the global workforce will be Millennials (born between 1980 and 2000). The Deloitte Global 2021 Millennial and Gen Z Survey found that millennials believe in their individual power to drive change. They align their spending and career choices with their values and are passionate about driving change on the societal issues that matter most to them. 

You don’t need to look very far to see that diversity, equity and inclusion in the workplace matters to them. So if you don’t have a position on DEI, you can expect to find yourself struggling to attract and retain talent. 

If you have cultivated an inclusive culture, where employees feel accepted and appreciated for who they are, the benefits are tremendous. They’ll bring the best of themselves to work. They’ll be happier, more productive, less likely to leave. And they attract other talent. The costs of both turn-over and recruiting are high, so driving a healthy company culture has a positive and direct impact on your bottom line.


Does InfoSec Have an Impact on Building Trust With Employees?

Absolutely! Frameworks like SOC 2 specifically address the foundations of trust. For example, the first COSO principle in SOC 2 is to ‘demonstrate a commitment to integrity and ethical values.’ A commitment to DEI isn’t enough on its own to empower and build trust with employees. A good InfoSec program addresses the needs, risks and contributions of employees. 

For example, if you don’t already have an easy and fast way for your people to report incidents or concerns of a breach, you should look into it. Your employees are your early warning system. 

They’re also your greatest point of vulnerability.

Tugboat Logic’s CISO regularly sends Sydney articles about security trends and issues. For example, he recently sent a synopsis of a large telecom company’s annual breach report. Not surprisingly, they found that most breaches are financially motivated and still need a human element to succeed. Naturally, this puts a lot of pressure on employees.

According to TechJury, employee threats or unintentional errors increased from 3200 incidents to 4700 per year between 2018 and 2020. This increased frequency of insider attacks has also led to about 60 percent of organizations experiencing more than 30 insider attacks yearly. Therefore, it’s clear that training your employees in cybersecurity is critical.

Cybersecurity and Awareness Training—Once Isn’t Enough

Many organizations still only train employees regarding cybersecurity once—when they’re onboarded. Once is not enough.

That’s why trustworthy companies do things differently and provide all employees with ongoing security awareness training. It also offers the opportunity to inform your employees about the fail-safes you have in place, like a Mobile Device Management system (MDM) that allows you to remotely wipe a lost or stolen device, showing them that you’ve got their backs.

To empower your team, appoint a CISO and build a culture of openness through your policies and procedures. In addition, make cyber security and awareness training an ongoing process. 

Remember, your employees are the focus of the bad actors out there. So you need to empower them!


Trust as a Competitive Edge

In this age of transparency, how a company does things has become equally important to what it does. Therefore, companies must intentionally create a culture of building, maintaining, and preserving trust and bake it into their DNA, strategy and day-to-day operations. Companies fit for the future balance growth, profitability, sustainability and trust.

The 2021 Edelman Trust Barometer reminds us that trust remains the most important currency in lasting relationships. The fact is, your company’s culture and commitment to security assurance go hand in hand with building trust. So if you haven’t already started putting Information Security into practice, get going. Don’t wait to focus on your company culture. Empower your people and make diversity equity and inclusion an integral part of your company’s lived values. Customers, investors, and talent are all looking to affirm their values when choosing companies to interact and align with. 

So if trust is a critical component of your business strategy, you’ll be genuinely competitive. Hire diverse talent. Be proud of supporting and sharing your values. Your integrity and values are crucial to your success and cultivating trust.

Need some extra guidance or are not sure where to start? With Tugboat Logic you can get secure, build trust and sell more. Our team of experts can show you how. Contact us today.