While it may seem like an easy fix to invest money in onsite gyms, ping-pong tables, or free food, what workers really want is a place where they feel comfortable with their work environment and are treated with respect.

It is often said that employees don't leave a company, they leave their manager. But tying together both the company and the manager is the organisational culture, which is essentially a long-term indicator of the company's ability to retain employees successfully. So it goes without saying that developing a good company culture is likely on your list of priorities for 2021.

In fact, in a CHG Healthcare survey, 84% of women and 75% of men (79% overall) stated they have left a job due to a bad company culture. When it comes to defining company culture, employees identify the work environment (41%) and how people are treated (27%) as the top things that come to mind. Surprisingly, company “perks”’ came in last (5%).

With unease at home and at work, and with much of the workplace shifting to a work-from-home model in the face of COVID-19, the survey covered more than 800 US workers to see how this has impacted employees’ experience at work and what we can expect for the future.

There were five aspects identified as the most important things employees want to see in a good company culture:

  1. Workplace environment
  2. Growth and development opportunities
  3. Access to leadership
  4. Transparent communication
  5. Meaningful job

Who are you most comfortable venting to when you're stressed?

Shooting at the wrong target so far? Well, while it may seem like an easy fix to invest money in onsite gyms, ping-pong tables, or free food, what workers really want is a place where they feel comfortable with their work environment and are treated with respect.

Another interesting finding from the report was around the ownership of culture. While CHROs often lead large-scale change projects that ultimately move the attributes of culture, it seems like the respondents don't feel like HR has to shoulder the burden themselves. As such, a third (33%) of employees felt that managers are most responsible for cultivating a successful culture, with just over a quarter (27%) indicating that executives play the next biggest role.

Only 3% of employees felt that HR contributed to a culture’s success. This goes to show that investing in managers who are aligned with the company’s vision and who are committed to creating a healthy workforce will enhance a company’s culture even further. This also supports the need for executives to engage with their employees to foster a good culture.

Whilst on the topic of the company leadership, respondents were asked on the top characteristics they look for in a leader:

  1. Trustworthy and trusting
  2. Not a micromanager
  3. A mentor
  4. Easily accessible
  5. Skilled at providing feedback
  6. The trait that is valued the least - Being a friend

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Images / CHG Healthcare

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