Building Trust in the Digital World 

If the coronavirus pandemic has taught us anything about the digital world, it’s how much we depend on it and need to trust it. From students learning algebra from the glow of a laptop in their bedrooms, to healthcare workers engaging in necessary tele-health visits around the globe, technology of the digital variety has kept us going through the last 18 months.  There is no question how much we need technology, but do your employees trust it?  How can you bridge the gap between what your business needs in terms of progressing in the digital world, versus having your employees (and customers alike) trust the technology they need to engage with on a daily basis?  It’s not an easy task to build trust in something that many of us fear and get anxious using, but we have a few suggestions on how you can help both your employees and managers understand the technology they are using as well as instill that trust in your customers too. 


What the Numbers Tell Us

According to a study published in Harvard Business Review that looked at four metrics about digital trust, the United States falls behind in trusting technology compared to many other nations.  The “Digital Trust Scorecard” examined areas such as environment of trust, user experience, user attitudes, and digital user behavior in terms of national outlooks and behaviors around emerging technologies.  (Image Source: Harvard Business Review)  Analysis of the report shows how the Americans have a fairly skeptical view about their digital systems’ trustworthiness, despite the fact that the U.S. has a much more secure digital environment than many other nations.  How can you help change this dismal statistic and the lack of trust in technology in your organization? Let’s take a closer look. 

digital trust stats

Tools & Tips to Help Increase Trust 

Every workplace has that group of people who don’t trust that the technology they are using will  work or that something disastrous will eventually occur. That group may never be convinced that technology is inherently flawed, but there are a few things that you can do as a business leader to help your staff overcome these trust issues. 

Training & Retraining 

People fear what they don’t understand. Help your employees understand the technology that they are using.  Train and retrain your team “where they are.” That means some may need in depth training to understand the basics while others will be more open to understanding what the risks are to using technology and learn how to mitigate those risks with knowledge. (Think not opening suspicious emails or attachments.) 

Have an Open Dialogue 

Talk to your team members at every level about the steps you are taking to safeguard sensitive data from hackers and malicious cyber criminals. Having these conversations lets your team know that you are trying to mitigate every risk and plan for what will happen if something bad does occur.  Talk about steps you have taken in terms of backing up data and planning a disaster response protocol. Understanding these can help your staff understand the importance of being vigilant for internal and external threats. 

Be Open With Customers 

Not only should you keep the information flowing with your employees but you should keep your customers in the loop as well.  Let your customers know what steps you are taking to protect their information while it is in your system and while it is being used. That openness will be well received and will build a better reputation for your organization.