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How Much Does Trust Matter?


Earlier this week, in a blog post called Trust: The Direct Route to Profitability we updated our ongoing research on the Business Case for Trust. This post takes a closer look at the impact of our trust research on two companies in similar businesses.

Every year my friend and colleague Laura Rittenhouse at Rittenhouse Rankings releases her CEO Candor Survey equating candor with better stock performance. Laura’s work enhances our FACTS® Framework and has heightened my awareness of the manner in which CEOs choose to portray their companies in their annual letters to shareholders.

So on this rainy 4th of July, I decided to take a closer look at two companies in the Business Services (Staffing) Sector. Trust Across America’s (TAA) database contains a total of seven companies in this group. Manpower Inc. received the distinction of being named the Most Trustworthy Public Company 2013 by TAA. The lowest scoring company in the sector is Resources Connection, Inc.

Should you choose, you can read the CEO letters to shareholders at the links below.  The contrast is striking in both content and candor. You can also compare the investment performance of the two companies over the past 5 years.





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Is there a correlation between trust, values and company performance? What role does the CEO play in building a trustworthy culture?  In which company would you rather invest? Please share your comments and suggestions!


Email: barbara@trustacrossamerica.com


Barbara Brooks Kimmel is the Executive Director of Trust Across America-Trust Around the World whose mission is to help organizations build trust. She is also the editor of the award winning TRUST INC. book series. In 2012 Barbara was named “One of 25 Women Changing the World” by Good Business International.

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One Response to “Trust, Values and Company Performance”

  1. July 4th, 2014 at 15:57 | #1


    Thanks for sharing this as more and more people need to know how trust impacts not only personal relationships, but corporate business results as well. Trust is real, tangible, and measurable and not to be taken lightly by business leaders and especially the CEOs, CFOs and CHCOs of the world. I am struck by the two company reports, Manpower and Resources Connection.

    The first thing I noticed and probably the only thing I needed to know in explaining why Manpower scored at the top of the trust list for the Business Services (Staffing) sector and Resources Connection as the lowest is very simple.

    All you have to do is look at the number of pictures of actual people and the references to impact and the importance of individual personal strengths, training, and continuous learning as shown in Manpower’s annual report. There are NO pictures of ANYONE in the Resources Connection annual report. Essentially, they present just words and numbers. Very simple test don’t you think?

    It would be interesting to see if this holds true in top and bottom company trust designations for other business categories. Interestingly, Resources Connection showed previously high earnings years. I wonder what happened along the way or if those simply reflected immediate short-term driven business results coupled with inattention to establishing and maintaining a longer-term culture of trust.

    In pursuit of our respective passion to create more trustworthy organizations worldwide,

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