One in three say their employer won’t consider culture improvements

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A third of staff think their employer is “stuck in its ways” and won’t consider how to improve its culture – which could lead to increased staff turnover, it has been claimed.

A report by employee communications platform Speakap reveals the importance UK workers attach to workplace culture, with 42% stating they would rather work a 60 hour week than work for a company that does not value its culture.

Six in 10 (58%) said they would take a job with their organisation’s competitor if it had a better culture than their employer, while only 13% said culture was not important to them.

The survey of 1,000 employees, which also included US workers, identified what staff believed were the most important attributes of a strong culture: almost half (45%) of UK staff said respect and fairness were vital, followed by trust and integrity (24%) and teamwork (8%).

“The sad fact of the matter is that many companies today mistake physical perks and amenities as being a critical part of workplace culture. But they simply are not,” said Patrick Van Der Mijl, co-founder and chief product officer of Speakap.

“Culture is the sum of a company’s values, traditions, beliefs, interactions, behaviours and attitudes. By focusing only on providing superficial perks, such as free lunches/snacks/beverages, ping pong and/or foosball tables, video games, yoga and social outings/events, companies are proving that they don’t understand what culture truly means, how it should be activated and how it can positively (and negatively) impact the employee experience.”

The Culture factor: Improving employee loyalty and relationships report emphasises the importance of “pre-boarding” to help new employees feel connected to the organisation during the first 30 days on the job. Twenty-two per cent of UK staff said communicating with colleagues before their first day helps them align with the employers’ culture, while 21% benefitted from being assigned a mentor prior to starting their role.

It also warns that HR “check-ins” with new starters often do not have the desired effect: only 4% of UK employees said it would make them feel more connected to a company’s culture.

“In this case, HR teams should re-evaluate their onboarding processes for the first 30 days of employment to make sure it’s actually meeting the needs and priorities of employees.

“Remember, if HR teams simply do what they think employees want, it will not have a positive impact on the workplace culture and it certainly won’t do much to improve employee loyalty and retention in the long-term,” the report says.

After their first month in a role, a quarter of UK employees valued ongoing job guidance and support and 17% said they found regular face-to-face meetings with management beneficial. Only 5% said regular social events made them feel connected to an organisation.

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