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Linemen News: Trust in Utilities at All-Time High

Trust in Utilities at All-Time High; How Can Companies Capitalize?

We cannot begin to count the number of unsung heroes that have come out of this pandemic. From frontline healthcare workers to grocery store clerks, package carriers, manufacturers, and all the other essential workers who stayed on the job, often at the risk of their own health, to enable our lives to go on with as minimal disruption as could reasonably be expected.

And there’s another behind-the-scenes group also deserving of recognition: the energy, utilities, and mining (EU&M) professionals. From technicians and line workers to oil and gas drillers, these are the people who kept our hospitals running, virtual calls powered, and delivery trucks fueled throughout the pandemic. It might seem a monumental feat to some, but it was just another day on the job for these “essential workers.”

The kudos could not be more merited, which is why we’re pleased to see the results of PwC’s recent “Trust in US Business Survey.” Some 80% of customers say trust in EU&M companies stayed the same or grew over the past year and a half—tied with consumer markets for tops among all sectors.

While there’s reason to be proud of this performance, as those in the industry know all too well, trust earned during the pandemic could be eroded or lost at any minute. From responding to storms to delivering on the promise of a carbon-free future, consumer trust is always on the line, with the stakes greater than ever before. That’s why we’re taking a moment to look at how trust can be gained, maintained, and even lost.

Know Your Stakeholders, and What They Want Today and in the Future

Business leaders in most sectors need to consider two groups as stakeholders: their employees, and their customers. For EU&M companies and their potential contribution to the carbon-free future, there is an additional unique stakeholder: society at large.

Our survey shows that business leaders agreed with these stakeholders on the four most important aspects of trust: data protection and cybersecurity, treating employees well, ethical business practices, and admitting mistakes.

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