Do your employees trust you?


A look at the findings from the 2019 Edelman Trust Barometer and implications for brand, employer brand and business results.

In the wake of the Banking Royal Commission Report, it’s worth taking a close look at the findings from the 2019 Edelman Trust Barometer Global Report launched in January.

Employer-employee: the most trusted relationship

Of all institutions, people’s employer is the most trusted relationship to do what’s right – not NGOs, business, government or media – their employer.  [Note: the emphasis here is on institutions, not on trusted relationships of partner, friends, family or brands]

Trust breeds desirable behavioural outcomes

Trust is key for employee commitment, engagement, loyalty and advocacy, essentially doubling the likelihood of these behavioural outcomes, i.e. 78% of employees that trust their employer are advocates vs 39% of employees who do not trust their employer; 74% are loyal vs 36%; 71% are engaged vs 38%; 83% are committed vs 52%

Lack of trust has financial and brand impact

The financial impact, then, of lack of employee trust is on:

  • Employee performance measures – productivity, turnover and recruitment costs;
  • Lack of engagement in the company, brand and its customers to deliver on brand customer experiences;
  • Lack of advocacy to drive awareness, reputation and trust in the company, its culture and employee experience, and its brands;
  • And the knock on effect of leveraging marketing communications investment and delivering against those promises.

The employee-employer trust relationship impacts employer, customer and corporate brands and highlights the importance of aligning these brands to attract, retain and engage employees, customers and stakeholders.

How to increase trust

Edelman goes on to provide insight into the Top 5 communication topics that are most effective in increasing employer trust:

  • Societal impact: the organisation’s contributions for the betterment of society
  • The organisation’s values
  • The organisation’s vision for the future
  • The organisation’s mission and purpose
  • Operational decisions, including decisions that may affect my job

These are not just communication topics but fundamental strategic elements that any company needs to develop and consistently deliver against in order to drive employee, brand and business performance and ultimately trust amongst employees, customers and key stakeholders.

That means involving employees, customers and stakeholders in the process of developing the strategies, immersing them in the strategies and helping them understand how to behave and apply them to their everyday jobs, applying the strategies to the experience and communications, and ensuring that whatever is promised in the communications is delivered in the experience.

As published in:

Rachel Bevans

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