The Family Business Trust Advantage

In these challenging times of uncertainty, it is important to feel a sense of connection with both your team and clients/consumers. Trust is essential as we move through this ever-evolving economic climate.

In a recent report by Edelman Trust Barometer, they surveyed 33,000+ respondents globally in the general online population to find out employer-employee trust trends, as well as business-consumer trust trends. 

Family business predominantly comes out on top.


When taking a look at the stats between non-family business (non-FB) and family business (FB), there was a clear trust gap, with family businesses coming out on top for most countries:

  • Here in Australia, family business trust is 23% higher than non-family business, at 75%
  • The Netherlands has the most family business trust, at 80%
  • Ireland and Spain both had a 30% difference between non-family business trust and family business trust (44% non-FB to 74% FB)
  • Interestingly, Japan puts their trust far less in family business, with 29% trust versus 44% trust in businesses in general. 
The take-away

There is huge value in clearly and regularly talking to the fact you are a family business. Bring this through in your brand story and sales decks. Call it out on packaging and products. Highlight it wherever you can.



With the data in most countries showing that family businesses hold more trust for employees, it’s important as an employer to understand the key factors that create this bond. 

At Tiny Hunter, as a family business ourselves, our values are a huge part of not only how we run the business, but also how we hire staff. The survey found that employees find family businesses more value-driven, with the CEO in particular, embodying the organisation values.

Other key stats in large family business were as follows:

  • 80% of employees said knowing the CEOs personal values was important to building trust
  • 79% of employees said knowing the obstacles the CEO overcame to become successful is important in building trust
  • 76% of employees said the CEOs personal philanthropic activities is important in building trust
  • 54% of employees would trust a business leader who spoke like a regular person, rather than in a highly educated way. 

And most relevant in the current situation:

  • Employees have 68% trust in large family businesses being a trustworthy source for social issues and important topics, verses 62% feeling this way in large non-family businesses
  • 73% of employees believe that it is “critically important for my CEO to respond to challenging times”. 
The take-away

Open and honest communication is key. Now is not the time to retreat to the boardroom and close your office door. Perhaps you can talk to examples where the company has gone through hardship before but made it through. You may want to talk to a personal experience and how resilience carried you through. The stories don’t need to be perfect and shiny, they need to be real, in order to connect and motivate your team.



  • Our employer is our most trusted relationship, with 75% trust, far exceeding 47% trust in media and 48% trust in government
  • Australians trust in their employer was 3 points higher than the global average
The take-away

If you have an engaged workforce they are your superpower. They are your brand ambassadors, out there telling family and friends about your business; more powerful than any digital campaign or billboard. In challenging times you must rally your team; mine them for innovative ideas or insights on current operations that could be altered to improve outcome or efficiency. The possibilities are endless, you just need to engage them.

Sophie Coldham

Written by: Sophie Coldham
Published: April 2, 2020

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