Trust rises in employers to 'do the right thing', Edelman Trust Barometer reveals Article icon


Three in four people trust their employers to do the right thing while 58 per cent consider their bosses to be a trustworthy source about contentious social issues, according to the 2019 Edelman Trust Barometer.

The survey reveals that ‘my employer’ is now the most trusted institution. Almost three in five (57 per cent) people trust trusted non-governmental organisations (NGOs) with a similar proportion trusting business, while fewer than half trust government (48 per cent) or the media (47 per cent).

Such is the level of trust in employers that people now want to see their bosses lead the way on major issues. Two thirds of employees want their chief executives to join them and take action on societal issues, while three in four want them to lead on change rather than wait for government legislation.

Almost three in four workers believe it is possible for a company to take actions on issues that both improve profitability and improve social and economic conditions in the communities in which they operate.


In return, businesses are set to benefit from this high level of trust. Employees who trust their employer are more likely to advocate for their organisations, are more engaged and are far more loyal than those who do not.


But such loyalty is not free. Four in five also expect career development opportunities and fulfilling work, whilst 74 per cent expect to have a voice in an organisation’s key decisions.


Now in its 19th year, the Edelman Trust Barometer surveys more than 33,000 individuals across 27 countries. This year’s findings reveal sharp disparities between ‘informed public’, defined as college-educated individuals, aged between 25 and 64, who earn above average salaries and consume news regularly, and the mass population, representing 84 per cent of the world.

A 16 point ‘trust gap’ has emerged between the informed public and the more sceptical mass population, almost half of whom also believe that the system is failing them. Indeed, just one in five believe the current system works for them.