Most people would rather make less money than cope with a negative workplace culture, according to a new survey by LinkedIn. A positive work environment is even viewed as more favourable than higher pay and a new title.
LinkedIn and Censuswide research polled over 3,000 full-time workers and found that 70 percent would not work at a top company if the workplace culture wasn’t favourable. When asked about values, leadership, and reasons for staying or leaving jobs, an overwhelming percentage said bad workplace culture was something they would not condone. “People would rather put up with lower pay (65%) and forego a fancy title (26%) than deal with a bad workplace environment,” noted Nina McQueen, LinkedIn Vice President of Benefits and Employee Experience.
What kind of culture do people gravitate towards? Fifty-one percent of those surveyed value work-life balance and flexibility, and 47 percent like an atmosphere in which they like their coworkers and can be themselves. Another 46 percent said they enjoy working for a company that gives back to society.
The biggest complaint (60 percent) was directed at companies that have weak and inadequate leadership.
One way companies can foster retention is by investing in their employees, according to McQueen. Benefits such as paid time off, parental leave, and health insurance are key to keeping employees for more than five years. Perks such as free food and game rooms are not as valued by employees, who’d rather be involved in learning and development programs and philanthropic efforts than having a free mid-day snack.
Companies should also communicate and maintain values if they want to keep their employees. Thirty-nine percent said they’d quit their job if their employer wanted them to do something that was contrary to their ethical and moral values.
“Cultivating an environment where all employees feel like they belong is the secret weapon for retention,” McQueen explained. “The number one factor keeping today’s professionals at their jobs for more than five years is having coworkers they enjoy working with and who they can be themselves around.”
Some signs of a positive work culture include:
- There is low employee turnover
- Leaders support one another
- People are energized by their work
- Employees enjoy hanging out with one another
- People are eager to join the team
- No one engages in gossip
- People support their colleagues
- Employees feel like they matter
- People smile and have a good time
- Communication is key
- Change is welcome