Study: People trust their employers more than most other institutions

Edelman’s latest research highlights the broadening scope of responsibilities falling to internal comms pros—who are increasingly counted on as vital sources of truth, accuracy and fairness by colleagues.

New research shows that people around the world trust the information they get from their employers more than the information disseminated by news sources.

Edelman’s 2022 Trust Barometer found that despite declining faith in CEOs in general, people list “my CEO” and “my co-workers” among the sources they trust most.

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Tonia Ries, Edelman’s global executive director, says this means companies have a responsibility—now more than ever—to act as a source of trustworthy information.

Edelman surveyed workers at the outset of the pandemic to ask how frequently they wanted to receive COVID-19-related information from their employers, and Ries says she was shocked at the results.

“The answer was ‘daily,’” she recalls. “I was just stunned, you know, at how much people were looking to their employer to help them navigate all of the conflicting, confusing sources of information out there.”

Internal comms pros can view this shift as an opportunity—and as a moral obligation. In this era of rampant misinformation, people are counting on their employers to provide them with accurate information. Especially about issues with global, potentially life-altering implications.

“Your employees are families; they’re part of a community,” Ries says. “And we know that peers are also a very highly trusted and influential information source, right? So, by communicating to your employees, you have the ability to influence a much broader audience.”

Is your internal comms strategy building trust among your employees in meaningful ways? If not, you could be missing out on crucial recruiting, retention and engagement benefits.

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