Global Updates

Employer trust key to driving change: Edelman

Trust in business leaders trumps government, media and peer-to-peer networks in Edelman’s 2019 Trust Barometer report.

Trust has changed profoundly in the past year with employers emerging as the bedrock of trust in organisations, according to the 2019 Edelman Trust Barometer. The report, conducted by the independent global communications firm between October and November 2018, surveyed more than 33,000 respondents in 27 markets globally.

Employers (75 per cent) are significantly more trusted than non-governmental organisations (57 per cent), business (56 per cent), government (48 per cent) and the media (47 per cent).

“People have lost confidence in the social platforms that fostered peer-to-peer trust,” says president and CEO of Edelman, Richard Edelman. “These forces have led people to shift their trust to the relationships within their control, most notably their employers.”

Events Travel Asia’s assistant event director, Jefter Ang, says an employer’s reputation is hard-earned. “Integrity is a foundation that must be laid from the ground up, built over time — and never taken for granted,” he says. “We need to foster an environment that is recognised as a trusted and great place to work in.” Ang says.

Smart companies will heed the call to build trust from the inside out.

According to the report, CEOs are expected to lead the fight for change. More than three-quarters (76 per cent) say they want CEOs to take the lead on change instead of waiting for government to impose it, and 73 per cent believe a company can take actions that both increase profits and improve economic and social conditions in the community where it operates.

However, when it comes to leading the fight for change, Ang believes corporates are limited to influencing change within their respective industries, and only associations and government agencies have the “voice” to galvanise the masses and lead initiatives.

The report outlines four specific actions that corporations keen on making a difference can take:

  • Lead on Change: Establish an audacious goal that attracts socially-minded employees and make it a core business objective
  • Empower Employees: Keep employees directly informed on the issues of the day and give them a voice on your channels
  • Start Locally: Make a positive impact in the communities in which you operate
  • CEO Leadership: CEOs must speak up directly on issues of the day.

Employees expect prospective employers to actively join them in advocating for social issues (67 per cent). Companies that do are rewarded with greater commitment (83 per cent), advocacy (78 per cent) and loyalty (74 per cent) from their employees.

In terms of specific industry sectors, technology (78 per cent) remains the most trusted, followed by manufacturing (70 per cent) and automotive (70 per cent), which experienced the largest jump at seven points. Financial services, which saw a two-point increase to 57 per cent, remains the least-trusted globally.

These perceptions are constantly evolving, however, as more companies and consumers embrace change and adopt new innovations through the meeting of minds at seminars and conferences.

Geopolitical climate and trade policies affect trust for a destination. Companies headquartered in Switzerland (71 per cent), Germany (71 per cent), Canada (70 per cent) and Japan (69 per cent) are most trusted. The least-trusted country brands are Mexico (36 per cent), India (40 per cent), Brazil (40 per cent) and China (41 per cent).