On 18th January 2022, Edelman issued their 22nd edition of the Trust Barometer Global Report. This annual trust and credibility survey powered by Edelman Data & Intelligence consisted of 30-minute online interviews with more than 36,000 people across 28 countries. The Edelman Trust Barometer turns the deep data they gather into real-world insights on trust and credibility. 

Having studied trust for more than 20 years, the Edelman firm believes that it is the most crucial currency in the relationships that all institutions – companies & brands, governments, NGOs and media build with their stakeholders.

 61% of people trust business more than institutions

The report’s most significant finding is that Businesses are the most trusted institution amongst 61% of people and NGOs amongst 59%, and these institutions are expected to take the lead on societal issues. Businesses are also seen as a unifying force in society.

Government and Media are the least trusted institutions and are seen as divisive forces in society. Amongst the societal leaders, Government leaders and journalists are seen to be the least trusted societal leaders (government leaders at 42% and journalists at 46%).

55% believe that businesses and NGOs are the most competent institutions to take a leadership role for societal problems, and 65% thinks that businesses can successfully execute strategies and deliver results towards these issues. 

People’s circle of trust is becoming more local as people trust their co-workers, CEO, neighbours, and community instead of people from other countries and regions.

Trust is collapsing in the world’s major democracies, with Germany, U.S, UK and Spain at the bottom of the ranking. Most trusted countries are not democracies like China, UAE, and Indonesia are at the top of the trust index. 

Businesses are being held accountable for their contribution towards societal issues as the beliefs and values of a company are becoming the basis for people’s decision making. 58% of people choose to buy from brands based on their beliefs and values, and 60% prefer a place to work on the same basis. 

88% of institutional investors put the same level of critical attention towards ESG as operational and financial considerations. 

CEOs are expected to be the face of change. 81% of people expect CEO’s to engage publicly in policy discussions and shape policies and conversations on jobs/economy (76%), wage inequity (73%), technology and automation (74%) & global warming and climate change (68%). 

Way forward:  breaking the cycle of trust

Businesses and NGOs are vital for breaking the cycle of distrust and are expected to be the most stabilizing forces in society. Businesses and NGOs are seen as the most competent and effective drivers of positive change.

People want to see more engagement and leadership from businesses on societal issues and further address issues like climate change, economic inequality, workforce reskilling, and civil society partnerships.

Businesses must focus on providing trustworthy, and fact-based information as the information quality is the most powerful trust builder for people across all institutions. 

Businesses must shift towards long term thinking instead of short term gains and create tangible progress towards solving societal issues.

Business is the solution.

Here at Goodness & Co, we believe that businesses hold the baton towards our better future. Only companies that are genuinely committed to a positive impact are chosen by consumers, employees, investors and partners.

We are committed to helping businesses be a force for good and support them on their journey from purpose to practice.