• Jim Canfield

Making the Edelman Trust Barometer Work for Your Business



Trust is at the heart of every business' success. From internal relationships to consumer perceptions, trust is a recurring, inescapable motif that functions as the ultimate currency in any organization. We can see the impact and influence of trust with the Edelman Trust Barometer, an annual qualitative survey that explores perceptions of trust and credibility across business, government, NGOs, and media. Here's how you can incorporate the basic tenets of the Edelman Trust Barometer into your organization - and foster trust internally and externally.

What is the Edelman Trust Barometer?

The Edelman Trust Barometer measures how the global population trusts businesses, governments, and the media. For 21 years, Edelman has been interviewing tens of thousands of people in 28 countries about how they feel about these institutions, noting shifts in trust and perception over time. The results provide important insights for employers - and also highlight ways that business leaders can leverage their standing to shape social issues, as well as policy ones.

2022's responses indicate increasing societal distrust of large institutions - but also widespread expectations that businesses will use their influence and public standing to fill the resulting gaps, partner with key organizations, and work to promote innovation and impact. Respondents underscored the importance of a brand's values and beliefs in terms of advocating for that brand, choosing a place of employment, and even investing in a business.

Incorporating the Edelman Trust Barometer

One of the key takeaways of this year's findings was that a failure of leadership leads to distrust. For that reason, it's vital to ensure that your organization's leadership is unimpeachable - and that it's informed by feedback from both internal and external stakeholders.

You can start by listening to every employee at every level of your business to see how they feel about your organization across the four key dimensions measured by the Edelman Trust Barometer: purpose-driven, honesty, vision, and fairness. A positive perception of each of these indicates a high-trust organization; a negative perception shows areas for improvement. Gather feedback by using the Walk the Four Corners (W4C) tool outlined in the Communicate to Build Trust chapter of CEO Tools, and individually talk with people about their perspectives on how to improve the company, how to fix problems, and how to seize opportunities. From there, you can expand to gathering intel from customers or clients using interviews or social listening and begin to course correct - or double down on the positives.

Become a Trusted Leader with CEO Tools

Trust starts at the top. Used by top CEOs, CEO Tools is a proven roadmap for fostering trust and unlocking success as a leader - and as an organization. Our 7-step system, outlined in the CEO Tools book and our self-contained, user-friendly online modules, will help you set the direction of your company, elevate your communication, create the future you envision, and build an empowered, autonomous company that will rank high on the Edelman Trust Barometer. Try it today and position your company to lead the way forward.


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