Employers Are the Most Trusted Institutions

The 2021 Edelman Trust Barometer found that businesses have seized the ethical high ground. Employers can use their corporate histories to reinforce their bona fides. (Image © 2021 Daniel J. Edelman Holdings, Inc.)

Business has replaced government as the most trusted institution, according to the 2021 Edelman Trust Barometer. The corporate history implications are clear. As employers compete for talent, they must be able to demonstrate their bona fides. And deliver on their commitments.

The report explains: “The privileged position of My Employer as the most trusted institution (77 percent) demands that the CEO deliver on the issues of the day, from sustainability to re-training to diversity and inclusion. Employers that take a stand on key issues are much more likely to be attractive destinations … with employees between 8x and 9.5x more likely to work for such an organization.” In fact, the widely trusted Edelman study found that business is seen as more than twice as competent than government, traditional media, and social media.

Further, in a report called The Belief-Driven Employee, conducted in early August in seven countries, Edelman found that “that the Covid-19 pandemic has changed values, so that higher wages are no longer a sufficient incentive to work longer and harder. The employee is now as belief-driven in selecting and staying with a company as a consumer is in buying and sticking with a brand.” (Italics added.) Wow!

In short, business has seized the high ground as the only institution deemed ethical and competent. Reach into your archives. Thread your historical achievements and commitments into your branding, marketing, and About Us outreach. Highlight every aspect of your corporate communications and recruitment efforts with examples from your past and present—otherwise known as your corporate history—and use that history as positive guidance for the future.