2019 Edelman Trust Barometer Reveals Trust in Business is on the Rise

28 Jan 2019 Edelman Trust Barometer Reveals Trust in Business is on the Rise

This year’s Edelman global survey on the public’s response to media, business, government and NGOs shows that ‘my employer’ is the most trusted institution with 75% responding positively. This is compared to trust placed in NGOs – 57%, trust in business – 56%, government – 48% and media – 47%.

The UK has a significant ‘trust gap’ between the 64% of ‘informed public’ who do trust institutions versus only 40% of the ‘mass population’. This 20% trust gap is the highest ever in the UK and points to a divided society. Globally, only one in five say that ‘the system’ is working.

Once again, we see that people are looking to CEOs for leadership, polling at 76%, more than government, and with an 11 point rise.

CEOs are seen to be the people who can tackle issues such as pay inequality, discrimination and sexism, the environment, data safety and training for the future workplace. In fact, 71% think it is critically important for their CEO to respond to challenging times.

With CEOs in the spotlight, there is a clear opportunity for those who demonstrate their values and ‘walk the walk’ to deepen their relationship with employees and those with whom they do business.

Globally, ‘my employer’ is more trusted than business, media or the government, with 75% of those surveyed placing trust in their employer to ‘do what’s right’. In the UK, however, trust in business is 73%, lower than the USA, China and the UAE.

Employees expect their employers to drive societal change, but meeting employee expectations is critical to creating that trust. Those who do will find their employees become advocates for the business, and more loyal, engaged and committed to their job.

In the UK, 68% of people surveyed believe that companies can take actions to increase profits whilst also improving the economic and social conditions in the communities within which they operate. This is up five points since 2018 but is in the bottom third globally for this sentiment.

Have you read our blog about corporate purpose? The Edelman survey backs our belief that there is an expectation for business and entrepreneurs to think beyond profits and consider people and the planet as well.

56% of those surveyed place their trust in business but that is lower amongst women than men. Trust in financial services institutions rose by eight points, the highest sector increase alongside energy companies.

Financial services firms should grasp the opportunity and continue to develop trust with consumers through transparent behaviour and by demonstrating a strong ‘corporate conscience’ through authentic corporate social responsibility programmes.

Of those surveyed, 47% place their trust in the media and 73% worry about the role of fake news.

In the UK, trust in the media has risen by five points but is still in the lowest quartile for trust in the media around the world.

Traditional media and search engines are the most trusted source for general news and information, with social media the least trusted, but on the rise by three points. Trust in online-only media has dropped. Overall, engagement with news has risen by 22 points in the last 12 months.

This mixed picture underscores the importance of utilising all types of communications channels and adapting materials to suit the audience and the specific media for maximum impact.

One final point of interest from the survey: the UK’s trust in the EU has risen by seven points over the last year, perhaps demonstrating the country’s change of heart on Brexit.

If you would like to talk to Black Vanilla about increasing trust in your employees or business, please call 01481 729 229 or email nichole@black-vanilla.gg.

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