The profound changes that swept across 2021 have affected every sector. As the corporate section head into a new year, they hope to face a new normal. A normal in which customers and stakeholders are unsure of the current situation and what they can expect in the future. A normal in which, although digitalizing workspaces has ensured that employees work remotely, it has also led to decreased socialisation and higher anxiety amongst the company’s workforce.
To lead and foster trust in all stakeholders, today’s CEOs and Chief Experience Officers (CXOs) must reshape the company’s message and build processes for ethical communication. Businesses and their management teams, including the CXOs, must ensure that they develop and have ethical communication practices internally and externally.
Ethical communication basic principles
Ethical communication is a framework of communication principles that must align with an organization’s code of ethics. Honesty, openness, and transparency are its core principles. For it to be implemented, these values need to become the foundation of all the relationships the organization has with its employees, vendors, stakeholders, and customers.
Internally, an environment of transparency helps employees see what’s happening within the organisation, allays their fears, and reinforces their trust in the leadership. Externally, the company’s image gains if they communicate its ethics and let its customers know it can be trusted, especially now.
Ethical communication most important trend 2021
According to our assessment, ethical communication is one of the most important trends for 2021. The European Communication Monitor Survey 2020 studied current practices and future developments. It offered a detailed picture of the ethical challenges professionals face at a micro and macro level. According to this study, most communication professionals lack up-to-date resources to tackle new ethical challenges in the digital age.
CXOs and the leadership teams will need to implement these practices. This helps to build a solid reputation and retain customers and clients. In 2021, customer loyalty will be the key to long-term business success as consumers tend to make decisions based on whether the organization’s values align with their own. The company’s reputation and, thereby, its brand also stand to gain if it prioritizes ethical communication. At a time when it is easy for customers to criticize the organization and step away from it based on a negative experience or management practices, ethical communication will help garner goodwill and prevent consumer attrition.
Ethical communication helps development
Ethical communication will also be helpful to CXOs in developing a positive work environment where employees can work together as a team and build strong relationships with their colleagues. A trust-based communication fosters loyalty among its employees, even in adverse situations – of which there might be some in the unknown future. Historically, companies who have acted ethically in environment, gender equality, and exemplary leadership behavior are known to have a strong workforce who identify with the company’s behavior as their own. Organisations that are honest about their values and ethics and bring that message to their employees will also be able to avoid legal situations, which can cause long-term damage to their reputations.
As with most significant changes, ethical communication needs to come from top management and leadership to be credible and to hold value in the eyes of the clients, customers, employees, and other customers and stakeholders.
In the future, ethical communication and ethics training must become an intrinsic part of the organization guidelines so that understanding and evaluating situations and acting ethically become the new normal.