Company culture building blocks

Nearly three-fourths of U.S. workers (73 percent) say the culture at their workplace impacts their ability to do their best work, and 72 percent indicate that culture drives their productivity and efficiency, according to new research from Eagle Hill Consulting. As shared via press release, another 65 percent of employees say culture impacts their ability to best serve customers, while 64 percent say it drives innovation and creativity. This research comes as reports of toxic cultures continue to emerge and as more employees return to the workplace. 

When asked about the most important elements of the ideal organizational culture, workers said it's respect (74 percent), integrity (57 percent), stability (55 percent), ethical treatment (53 percent), and employee wellbeing (51 percent).

These findings are from the 2023 Eagle Hill Consulting Culture Survey conducted by Ipsos from July 25-28, 2023. The survey included 1315 respondents from a random sample of employees across the U.S.

"It wasn't long ago that employees were walking out the door in droves during the Great Resignation, largely dissatisfied with their organizations, their treatment by employers, and burnout," says Melissa Jezior, president and chief executive officer of Eagle Hill Consulting. "While employment trends have shifted as the economy has softened, employers can't lose sight of the fundamental importance of a strong culture. Not only does it help retain your best workers, a healthy culture drives peak performance, innovation, and customer service." 

"The most successful companies are intentional about their culture and employee wellbeing," says Jezior. "Company culture just doesn't just magically happen. Leaders must define their company culture, manage and monitor culture, and model the behaviors they want to see across the workforce. You can bet that when culture isn't a high priority, a company isn't competitive, recruitment and attrition are chronic problems, and reputational issues emerge."

Additional survey findings are as follows:

• When queried about who impacts organizational culture, 86 percent say it's their colleagues, 79 percent say it's their boss, 75 indicate it's human resources leaders, and 69 percent say it's executive leadership.

• Actions employers could take to create a healthy workplace include investing in improving employee wellbeing (51 percent), holding workers accountable for bad behavior (46 percent), and leadership development (42 percent).

When it comes to employee wellbeing, only 30 percent of workers say their company has increased its focus during the last year. Fifty-four percent say the focus on employee wellbeing remained steady, and 17 percent say there is less of a focus. 

When asked who they trust in their workplace, 45 percent of workers say they trust their colleagues, 42 percent trust their boss, and only 13 percent trust executive leadership. 

• Thirty-nine percent of workers say their organizational culture is better than most organizations, and 10 percent say it is worse. Fifty-one percent say their culture is about the same as compared to other organizations.

• Eighteen percent of employees say they have reported unethical behavior observed in their workplace.

For related tips, check out these three methods to improve workplace culture and employee retention