We've now spent the last four weeks discussing the results of the 2016 Edelman Trust Barometer, and the global impacts those findings may have on a series of institutions—mainly the government, big business and the media. If you're just joining us, a marked divide is emerging between what Edelman has coined the “elite” population and the rest of the general public. The elite or informed public – those possessing at least a college degree – express far higher levels of support and confidence in the government, media and industry when compared to the rest of the “mass population.”
And while these gaps are significant in all areas across the globe, the largest disparity in trust is observed in the business sector in general. Richard Edelman elaborates:
“The most profound difference between elite and the broader populations is found in their attitudes toward business. There are double-digit gaps in half of the countries surveyed, the most significant being in the U.S., where 70 percent of the elite population express trust in business in contrast to 51 percent of the general population, a 19-point difference.”
Altering these opinions will neither be easy or immediate, but if we're armed with an understanding of why trust levels have changed – coupled with strategies to change how every citizen views business leaders – we can start cultivating trust in our own companies.