Company culture has become a top priority for leaders across all industries. In fact, 66% of executives believe culture is more important than an organization’s business strategy or operation model. Those organizations who have adapted their approach to culture have fared well in The Great Reshuffle. They’ve created an attractive value proposition for prospective talent and have kept current employees engaged—even through periods of significant change. Those who have been slower to evolve have seen consequences of disengagement, burnout, and unwanted turnover. Our research shows disengaged employees are 3.8x more likely than their engaged counterparts to cite organizational culture as a reason for leaving.
The most important elements of workplace culture
Employees experience culture through many aspects of your organization. Our research shows that some aspects are felt much more powerfully than others. Culture is really about the day-to-day details of how work gets done.
- 54% experience culture most strongly through their company's mission and values
- 53% experience culture most strongly from recognition and celebrations
- 50% experience culture most strongly in their company's approach to performance
- Only 37% experience culture through rituals or norms
- Only 33% experience culture through onboarding or training
- Only 28% experience culture most strongly through the physical workspace
What employees think about their company's culture
Company culture is changing. Our research shows that while some employees believe this change is for the better, others say it’s for the worse. As culture continues to evolve, it impacts employees in different ways than before.
- 69% of workers say their organization has a very strong culture
- 67% of workers say their organizational culture is very positive
- 66% of workers say their organization positively impacts their work and behavior every day
- During the past two years of the pandemic, 42% say their company's culture has improved, 35% has stayed the same, and 23% has declined
Employee engagement plays a major role in the perception of company culture. A positive culture strengthens employee engagement. When employees agree that their organizational cultures are positive, they are more likely to be highly engaged (84%) than those who do not agree (22%). When employees say their culture has improved over the past two years, they are more likely to be highly engaged (81%) than employees who say it has declined (28%).
Roughly 60% of disengaged employees—and only 23% of engaged employees—would leave their company for a better culture. This suggests that employee engagement is the motivating factor behind retention. One of the best ways to drive engagement? A positive workplace culture. In addition, workplaces that provide flexibility, such as with remote and hybrid work options, report a better view of their company culture.
What employees want when it comes to culture
Engaged and disengaged employees describe their cultures in different ways. But both engaged and disengaged employees know what they want—and don’t want—when it comes to culture. The 10 words employees use the most to describe ideal workplace cultures are: (1) Flexible (2) Inclusive (3) Supportive (4) Caring (5) Collaborative (6) Fun (7) Engaging (8) Innovative (9) Diverse and (10) Positive.
The words disengaged workers use most to describe their company cultures are: demanding, disorganized, stressful, and professional.
Who shapes organizational culture?
According to our research, employees believe leaders and managers are mostly responsible for company culture. But to create a great culture, everyone needs to play a part. Culture should grow and evolve in a way that resonates with each employee, regardless of role.
- 83% of employees believe company leaders are responsible for culture
- 75% of employees believe managers are responsible for culture
- 57% of employees believe HR is responsible for culture
- 57% of employees believe individual contributors are responsible
- 36% of employees believe the board of directors is responsible
- 20% of employees believe customers are responsible
Source: The 2022 Organizational Culture Research Report, from Quantum Workplace.
Tags: Employers' Blog Posts