A new workplace culture study has reinforced what many employees feel is the type of workplace they believe they would thrive under. According to the research, both women and men , across all the surveyed industries, consider work-life balance and a welcoming office culture with camaraderie and connectivity among colleagues to be top workplace values, outweighing “financial perks” and “company growth.” For both women and men, “feeling undervalued” was the number one reason for leaving a company, above dissatisfaction with current compensation or being recruited away for better pay. In addition, 62% of women reported personally feeling or witnessing others feel undervalued by their manager, team or company in the last year. Combined, these numbers demonstrate the need for workplace culture change in key industries to strengthen worker satisfaction and ensure long-term employee retention.
The Culture at Work survey, produced by FTI Consulting and Mine The Gap, also revealed significant gaps between employees’ current workplace cultures and the office environments in which they believe they would thrive. The research looked at four typical organizational cultures, identified by University of Michigan professors Robert Quinn and Kim Cameron: Clan, Adhocracy, Market and Hierarchy. The survey found that employees overwhelmingly believe they would thrive in a “Clan” culture — a workplace built on teamwork, participation and consensus — while less than one-third stated they work at organizations with such an environment. Many professionals also believe they would thrive in an “Adhocracy” culture, a dynamic and creative environment that promotes individual initiative and creativity; however, only about 1-in-10 employees reported that they currently work in this environment. Furthermore, while about 1-in-3 employees reported being in a workplace with a “Hierarchy” culture, defined by its focus on formalized structure and efficiency-based procedures, it was the lowest-rated culture in which both men and women say they would succeed. Approximately 1-in-5 women professionals report working in a “Market” culture, defined by its emphasis on results, stock and competition, while only 14% believe they would thrive in such a culture.
Other notable findings from the Culture at Work research include:
- Work-Life Balance and Welcoming Office Culture Named as Most Desired Company Values: A majority of women (54%) and 50% of men cited work-life balance as one of the most attractive values to have at their organizations. Meanwhile, 45% percent of women cited a welcoming environment, camaraderie, and connectivity among colleagues as one of their top values, while only 37% cited financial perks.
- Strong Support for a Culture of Respect and Accountability in the Workplace: Approximately 82% of women and 80% of men said it is important for companies to create a culture that does not tolerate inappropriate or offensive language that makes employees feel uncomfortable and for those companies to establish formal accountability protocols for those who break policies. This idea received a strong positive response among women professionals, with 46% rating it as “extremely important.”
- Ability to Change Workplace Culture: Most professionals (55% of women and 61% of men) believe they can change the culture at their workplace. Of the industries surveyed, women in tech are the most likely to believe that they can change their company’s culture (64%), with 1-in-4 being very confident in their ability to do so (“strongly agree”).
- Need for Company Actions and Corporate Values to Align: A significant majority of professionals (78% of women and 74% of men) report believing that it is important that companies’ actions and corporate values align. This belief is higher among women in the technology industry (86%) and women in finance (82%). In addition, 68% of women believe it is important for companies to incorporate gender inclusivity within the company’s brand, mission statement or stated goals and actions. This sentiment is reported higher among women in technology (78%).
- Top 5 Reasons Women Cite for Leaving Current Company: The top reasons for women leaving, or considering leaving, their current workplaces are (ranked in order), (1) feeling undervalued; (2) compensation below industry average, or salary not aligned with those of peers doing the same work; (3) another company offered more pay and responsibility; (4) the inability to maintain work-life balance; and (5) lack of effective communication with management.
- Women Professionals Are Experiencing or Witnessing Discrimination or Gendered Micro-Aggressions in Substantial Numbers: Nearly half of women professionals report receiving ineffective feedback from managers, being paid less than industry counterparts, not being promoted despite meeting all of the criteria, being expected to clean up after office functions, or being expected to be the designated note taker during a meeting.
This report, Culture at Work, is the third installment of research and data-driven insights developed by FTI Consulting and Mine The Gap on gender dynamics in the workplace. To download the full Culture at Work report and an accompanying infographic, please visit https://gender.fticommunications.com/.
In a comprehensive online survey conducted over the summer of 2018, FTI Consulting and Mine The Gap polled 4,764 professional women and 1,030 professional men in the technology, finance, legal, energy and healthcare industries to test a number of key gender issues impacting workplaces today.