Northern Europe has more collaborative work environments than the South

Managers in Northern Europe create more supportive and collaborative working environments than their Southern European counterparts, according to research from Hay Group.


The global consulting firm found that Northern European managers took a more democratic leadership approach, while Southern European leaders tended to emphasise authority.

The “warmer working conditions” experienced in the North of Europe, as shown in Hay Group’s interactive workplace climate map, were put down to affiliative, democratic and coaching leadership styles.

According to the 71,996 employees surveyed, Russia and the Ukraine had the “warmest” working environments, with more than half (55%) of senior managers creating positive atmospheres.

However, more than two-thirds (68%) of Italian managers created a demotivating or neutral environment for their staff.

British and Irish leaders were judged to be among the least authoritarian in Europe but many failed to motivate workers, with 38% rated as generating a demotivating atmosphere.

Graeme Yell, director at Hay Group, commented: “Our research challenges the perception of an easy-going Mediterranean outlook and a stricter Northern European attitude. When it comes to the workplace, the opposite is the case.

“Senior managers must acknowledge their role in fostering a positive working environment, as it benefits the entire organisation. The more positive the climate, the greater the business performance.”

The full findings can be seen on Hay Group’s interactive workplace climate map.

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