The key results

2020 and 2021 have driven a rearrangement of and shift in values. The pandemic and resulting "infodemic", along with issues such as systemic racism or climate change – the multi-layered social and political challenges of the past months – have caused people to review their values and priorities. This has also affected the world of work.

While the results of May’s Edelman Trust Barometer 2021 Spring Update: A World in Trauma show that respondents trust their own employer more than other institutions (government, business, media, NGOs), this does not mean that employees are not critical of their employers. On the contrary, expectations of them have increased and higher wages alone are not enough to retain motivated employees and attract new talent. This is shown by the results of the Edelman Trust Barometer 2021 Special Report: The Belief-Driven Employee, a survey of 7,000 employees in seven markets.

Edelman Trust Barometer 2021
7.000 Employees
7 Markets

Pandemic as catalyst: changing relationship between employees and employer
More than half of the respondents in Germany (53%) believe that employees have more power and leverage in bringing about change within a company than before the pandemic. In terms of their own value to the employer, 54% of German respondents say they have increased this during the pandemic by taking on more work and responsibility. 

Growing expectations: values and beliefs determine choice of employer 
The following data shows particularly impressively that employees' expectations of their employer have changed. When asked why they left or want to leave their jobs, 55% of employees in Germany said they want a job that better fits their values. 47% are looking for a new job that is more compatible with their lifestyle and (only) 23% are leaving for better pay and career opportunities. 

Employee Activism as an Opportunity: Employees want to actively shape their companies
Overall, German employees are now encouraged to drive change in their companies. 42% of them say that a large group of employees who put on strong pressure can push an organisation to change almost anything about itself. However, it is worthwhile for employers to meet the expectations of employees because belief-driven employees recommend the company as an employer to others (69%, +10 percentage points compared to those who are not belief driven).

Press contact

Anna-Lena Schildt, Senior-PR & Marketingmanager Edelman Deutschland
Tel.: +49 (0) 40 80 90 36 770, E-Mail:

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