How Do You Measure Trust In Organisations?

David Price
3 min readNov 23, 2022


A couple of weeks ago The Power Of Us Agency polled people the following question: out of all the elements the make up an organisation’s culture, which is the most significant? (spoiler alert: it’s Trust)

In case you haven’t read the book The Power Of Us, the 8 elements we felt were most prominent in highly innovative, productive and happy organisations were: Trust; Transparency; Engagment; Equity; Autonomy; Agency; Mastery; Meaning. We arrived at these 8 after studying over 40 thriving organisational cultures. You would probably come up with a slightly different list — that doesn’t matter here. What matters is that you take culture seriously. A recent survey by Korn Ferry found that 72% of CEOs thought culture was important, but 1 in 3 were struggling to establish a good culture.

In our experience building a healthy organisational culture is shackled by a number of factors:

  1. Failure to understand it (bunch of values posters, anyone?);
  2. Failure to measure it (as Deming said, ‘Anyone without data, is just a person with an opinion’);
  3. Failure to accept that there’s always a culture — or sub-cultures present, but it may not be the one you think (as Brewdog’s CEO, James Watt discovered to his great personal cost recently);
  4. Failure to understand that cultural development takes time and needs regular monitoring.

As our poll respondents showed through a significant majority, all of those 8 elements might be important, but there’s one that’s head-and-shoulders above the others: Trust.

We’d concur. It’s theoretically possible to do quite well in building people’s sense of personal mastery, in making the business an equitable one — but without Trust, you’re just spinning your wheels.

The Edelman Trust Barometer is the Rolls-Royce of Global Investigations. For years, they’ve been painting a picture of steady decline in Trust. We trust politicians less, we trust CEOs less, we trust the institutions like the judiciary, and news media less. Since the toxification of social media, we even trust each other less.

But as rich as Edelman’s findings are, they are very much Big Picture. We wanted to find out how Trust has changed since the pandemic in the daily business of organisations. Yes, it’s important to understand that CEOs need to have a position on the big social issues of the day. But to most workers, how they are trusted (or not) to manage their own work, or to support colleagues, is far more important to the warp-and-weft of an organisation.

We couldn’t find anything that measures this. So we made our own. We suspect that, in organisations with an open, healthy culture, the period since the pandemic has seen a rise in trust. But, we really don’t know.

So, we’re asking for your help. We’ve created a short, pulse survey, and we’d invite you to complete it. It takes two minutes. Your individual responses will be collated and comparisons drawn between those working in the private, public and voluntary sectors, and those in different parts of the world. If you want to measure trust within your team (only) we can restrict the survey to 15 people, and send you a personalised report. All of this is free. We hope that, by the end of the year, (when the survey concludes) we’ll have a clearer picture. One that will give CEOs, HR directors and boards a sense of what to look out for, and how the overall context is shaping us.

If you have two minutes, use this url:

If you want to measure trust within your team email us at: