A new phenomenon: the emergence of "my employer" as a trustworthy figure

The Edelman Trust Barometer 2019 reveals a major change in the state of trust in the world marked by the emergence of the institution "my employer" now recognized as the most trusted institution. Overall, "my employer" was rated significantly more trustworthy (75%) than NGOs (57%), businesses (56%), government (48%) and the media (47%). %). We therefore trust his employer more than business in general.

"Over the last decade, there has been a loss of confidence in the personalities and institutions traditionally holding the authority," says Richard Edelman, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Edelman. "More recently, individuals have lost confidence in social platforms that foster trust among peers. Caught between these two fires, individuals have put their trust in the relationships over which they can control, and more particularly their employer. "

An unprecedented gap in levels of trust between elites and the general public

This return to a more focused confidence is part of a return to a record gap (16 points) between the informed public - or elites - (65%) and the general public (49%). This dichotomy can be explained by peaks of confidence among elites in developed markets, while the level of trust of the general public remains relatively stable. This gap of trust between elites and the general public is considerable in developed countries (United Kingdom - 24 points, Canada - 20 points, France - 18 points, United States - 13 points), and now extends to developing countries (India - 17 points, China - 12 points). On the other hand, women are also less confident in business: the gender gap thus reaches a double-digit level in several developed countries, such as Germany (12 points) and the United States (11 percentage points).

Increasing pessimism about the future

The barometer shows that only 1 in 3 people from the general public in developed countries think their family will improve in the next five years. Still among the general public, they are only 1 in 5 to judge that the system works, 70% calling for a change. The fear of losing one's job remains high for individuals from the general public, who are 2.5 times more likely to think that innovation and technologies are going too fast, rather than too slowly. "Differences in confidence levels in the future between the general public and elites are symptomatic of an underlying degradation that continues to undermine the fabric of society," said Stephen Kehoe, President of Edelman's Reputation activities. "If not everyone goes down the street, the data can explain why movements like the" Yellow Vest "in France, the women's marches in India and the strikes of employees at several major technology manufacturers could make ballooning of snow."

This fear created a desire for change and a demand for factual information that led to an unprecedented increase in media consumption and news sharing, which jumped 22 points to 72%. Confidence in traditional media (65%) and search engines (65%) is now at historically high levels, a rise fueled by significant growth in developed countries. Conversely, trust in social media (43%) remains weak, particularly in many developed regions where there are considerable differences in trust between traditional media trust and social media trust (gap). 31 points in the United States and Canada, 26 points difference in Europe).

Business leaders are expected to lead the expected change 

More than three-quarters (76%) of those surveyed say they want their CEO to take the initiative for change, rather than waiting for the government to impose it. And 73% believe that companies can put in place measures to improve both their profitability and the economic and social conditions in which they operate. Employees expect employers to actively join them in advocating for social causes (67%). Companies that do so are rewarded with greater commitment (83%), more mobilization (78%) and loyalty (74%) from their employees. "We are witnessing the emergence of a new contract between the employee and the employer, which we call Trust at Work," says Richard Edelman. "This contract is based on the implementation by companies of four specific projects: Conducting change, defining an ambitious project that engages activist employees and makes it a key objective of the company; Mobilization of employees, directly inform employees of current issues and give them voice on the company's channels; Local anchoring, have a positive impact on the communities in which the company is present; and Leadership of the entrepreneur, taking a stand directly on current issues. Smart businesses are those that will respond to the call to build internal trust with employees as a central point."

Other key findings of the Edelman 2019 Trust Barometer include:

  • Confidence increased in 12 of the 15 sectors, with Technology (78%) leading the way, followed by Construction (70%) and Automotive (70%), which posted the strongest gain with 7 points . Financial services (+ 2 points at 57%) remain the poor relation of trust.
  • Firms based in Switzerland (71%), Germany (71%), Canada (70%) and Japan (69%) are the most trusted. Conversely, Mexico (36%), India (40%), Brazil (40%) and China (41%) are at the bottom of the pack.
  • More women (+22 points) than men (+20 points) in the elite have become relays of information during the past year.
  • 71% of employees believe that the ability of their company and managers to meet the challenges of these difficult times is crucial.


About Edelman Trust Barometer

The Edelman Trust Barometer 2019 is the 19th edition of the Edelman Group's Annual Trust Survey and is unveiled annually at the Davos Economic Forum in Switzerland. Organized by the research and analysis agency Edelman Intelligence, it is based on interviews of about thirty minutes conducted between October 19 and November 16, 2018. As part of this survey, more than 33,000 seniors aged 25 to 64, of whom 6,200 belong to an educated public, were interviewed in 27 markets. His teachings are regularly repeated by The Financial Times, The New York Times, The Economist, Fortune, and Forbes, among others. His results are also cited in many trust research and inform opinion leaders around the world.