We asked the general population a two-part series of questions to understand the gap between what is important to them and how well business and government are delivering against that. For business, we looked at 16 attributes that build trust and at eight for government. Both institutions show performance gaps, but the gulf is wider for government, which appears to be falling short on policy and execution. It records double-digit gaps in environmental protection, sound fiscal management, and frequent and honest communication (38, 46, and 49 percentage points, respectively).
Business, on the other hand, is doing a slightly better job at closing the gap on operational factors like bringing innovative products to the market, and ranking on global best-of lists. The areas in which it has largely fallen short are more societal in nature. Sixty-four percent say that treating employees well is important to building their trust in a company, but only 27 percent say that business is doing a good job of that. Both business and government are cited, by a wide margin, for not adequately listening to their primary stakeholders—for business, there is a 31 percentage point gap in this critical behavior; for government it is even greater at 50 percentage points.