By | Nathan Christensen | www.entrepreneur.com
Every year since 2000, Edelman, a global public relations firm, has conducted an international survey to assess people’s trust in our core institutions. This survey is called the Edelman Trust Barometer, and earlier this year, Edelman released the most recent results based on responses from more than 36,000 respondents across 28 countries. The results paint a disconcerting but not surprising picture: High levels of distrust that undermine our ability to communicate, collaborate and solve the problems we face.
But within this bleak picture, the Edelman Trust Barometer finds hope in an unexpected place: business. Of the studied institutions, business is the most trusted, with 61% of global respondents reporting that they trust business, compared to 59% for NGOs, 52% for government and 50% for media. Further, business is seen as most capable of solving societal problems and getting results, scoring a startling 53 points higher than the primary institution created to solve societal problems: government.
Businesses are especially trusted by their own employees. Seventy-seven percent of respondents globally, and 74% in the U.S. said they trust their employer. On a more personal level, 66% of respondents said they trust their CEO, and 74% said they trust their coworkers, a trust level second only to scientists.
The burden of trust
Given these results, business leaders need to ask ourselves a question: If our organizations have stores of an increasingly scarce resource — trust — what responsibility do we have to put that asset to use to help society solve our problems?