The Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM) published a study in 2019 revealing that toxic workplace cultures cost businesses $223B in five years. Since that time, employers and their workforce have been navigating a pandemic, learning how to work remotely and often, leaving their jobs. Quite simply, employees have higher expectations than they did before. A 2021 SHRM study reveals that positive workplace culture was what mattered most to those employees who stayed with their employers through the pandemic.
How positive is your workplace culture? Let's dig in.
Key Findings of the 2021 Workplace Culture Report
The SHRM study included HR professionals, people managers, executives, and working Americans. Here are some of the notable findings:
- 53% of Americans left their jobs due to their relationships with their manager
- In-person employees leave work exhausted (65%) at a higher rate than remote workers (53%) or hybrid (47%)
- 76% of Black working Americans report feeling exhausted after work (compared to 54% white, 58% Hispanic, 62% other races and ethnicities)
- 64% of women report feeling exhausted, compared to 54% of men
- 26% of people managers say that they are not being trained for leadership
- 97% of executives believe their actions have a direct impact on workplace culture
- 94% of people managers agree that positive workplace culture builds organizational resilience
- 1 out of 5 HR professionals believes their workplace culture has improved since the start of the pandemic.
Improvements for a Positive Workplace Culture
The report findings easily inspire the positive changes necessary and the reasons why they're important. In every case of those surveyed, these were the top reasons that their workplace culture improved:
- Shifting to remote work
- Organizations trust in employees
- More organizational transparency
On the other side of the coin, for those who haven't seen an improvement in workplace culture, these were the top reasons:
- Changes to workload
- Employees leaving the organization
- Lack of Communication
Build a Resilient Workforce
The main takeaway of the survey? Positive workplace culture builds a resilient workforce.
Here are some tips to add some positivity at work:
- Help relieve the burden on black workers and women. Consider ways to offer a balance between work and home commitments.
- Focus on more diverse hiring and inclusion policies.
- Provide leadership training for people managers. Positive leaders affect morale.
- Add more transparency to corporate communications. Communicate more often and effectively.
Organizational values were also found to affect employee morale and workplace culture. 75% of employees stayed with their employers because they felt that their organization had strong values and positive culture.
Bottom line: To reduce turnover, ensure employees are happy and they will stick around.