“Culture eats strategy for breakfast” is a cliche at this point, but employees are making it clear that they value workplace culture more than ever. Communications platform Speakap surveyed 1,000 U.S. and UK employees about the role of culture and the various forms it takes in organizations.
Workplace culture is important to 74% of the surveyed employees. Just how important? They’re willing to switch jobs over it. Over half (58%) said they would leave their job and take a position with a competing company if it had a better culture.
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Not only that, but employees would be willing to hypothetically work more just to be able to work in a better environment. Nearly half (48%) said they’d work 60 hours for a company that prioritizes culture rather than work normal hours for a company that doesn’t. That means they’re willing to work 50% more as long as it’s in a more positive workplace.
While 74% of employees said workplace culture was important to them, only 40% said that their own company’s culture rated as “positive.” A third (35%) said theirs was average, and 14% were neutral. Toxic culture was a problem at 7% of respondents’ workplaces.
What is culture, anyway?
Positive workplace culture is generally defined as a fulfilling environment that promotes engagement and productivity. According to the respondents, what “culture” meant to them was being treated with respect and fairness (39%) and operating with trust and integrity (23%).
Note that this definition of culture is a set of attitudes and values – not extras. (Quartz recently reported that fancy office perks were a trap.)
Culture is also about relationships. Working well with managers ranked high in importance among employees: 94% reported that it was important that they had a good working relationship. Employees valued access to their managers and open communication with them, as well as guidance and support and the opportunity to exchange feedback.
While organizations are known to be resistant to change, a surprising 57% of employees reported that their company was “open to suggestions” when it came to making changes in culture.
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