Employers more trusted than government, the media

Team leader pointing at report during meeting with his colleagueNew Zealanders trust their employers significantly more than they trust the government, NGOs, business or the media, according to the 2019 Acumen Edelman Trust Barometer.

According to the report, “my employer” was more trusted (74 per cent) than government (50 per cent), NGOs (48 per cent), business (47 per cent) and the media (34 per cent).

This is the result of trust in other institutions remaining flat, while trust in employers is on the rise. The finding aligns with the trend of employees seeking out purpose in the their jobs and organisations shifting away from being ‘customer-first’ to being ’employee-first’.

Acumen Republic’s chief executive Adelle Keely said organisations should see this finding as an opportunity to play a more critical role in the lives of their employees, and reap the benefits of loyalty and productivity.

“Employees are looking for trusted sources of information in a time of change and disruption and there is an opportunity for employers to provide education and useful insights that help them navigate the new world,” she said.

Keely noted there is a growing expectation for business leaders to step up as change-makers, with three-quarters of employees wanting CEOs to take the lead on change instead of waiting for government to impose it. This is 15 points higher than last year, she said.

“Employers need to lead on change, address workers’ concerns, provide information and equip employees for the future. They should demonstrate their relevance and contribute to the communities where they operate. This is particularly important for those not headquartered in New Zealand.”

Interestingly, there is a gender divide in trust in institutions, with women being less trusting than men. Women trust only government, while men have trust in both business and NGOs.

“Trust in business shows the biggest gender divide. This is likely the result of lack of female representation and reporting around pay equity and the #metoo movement,” Keely said.

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