O.C. Tanner, the global leader in employee recognition and workplace culture, today announced the release of its 2022 Global Culture Report. In its fourth year, the report provides an in-depth look at timely workplace culture and employee experience issues based on data gathered from over 38,000 employees, leaders, HR practitioners, and executives from 21 countries worldwide. The report was announced at O.C. Tanner’s annual culture conference, Influence Greatness, which took place virtually for the second consecutive year.
“Demonstrating a causal relationship between employee recognition and the strength of connection between employees, this year’s landmark study supports over a decade of research to show that recognition is a critical tool for organizations, particularly in an era rife with disconnection and social fragmentation," said Dr. Alexander Lovell, Director of Research and Data Science at the O.C. Tanner Institute. "Additionally, our research makes clear that the recent ‘Great Resignation’ phenomenon is only the beginning. Repairing the damaged aspects of workplace cultures is imperative, but will not be easy. It will take time to thoroughly rethink long-held beliefs about the employee experience and approaches to building workplace culture, and we hope this report will act as a guide for those company leaders looking to do so.”
As companies approach a post-pandemic era, the report highlights some of their greatest challenges: creating meaningful employee experiences and connecting people across the organization. Generic, top-down programs for collaboration, recognition, and growth will no longer be effective. Because the pandemic has affected employees in extremely different ways, personalizing the employee experience will be crucial to building inclusive cultures. Leaders will have to inspire great work in their people regardless of where it’s done. As they look to reimagine the workplace, organizations today have the opportunity to refresh their cultures—to exceed the best of their old normal, evolve their employee experiences, and focus on what will truly drive business results.
“The former concept of workplace ‘normalcy’ left the building in March 2020, and it’s not coming back,” said Gary Beckstrand, Vice President of the O.C. Tanner Institute. “A new landscape of work and business has emerged from the pandemic, and helping employees feel connected to purpose, accomplishment, and one another—no matter where or when they work—is more important than ever. With so much continued uncertainty, the 2022 Global Culture Report shines a light on the specific elements that organizations need to prioritize as they look to navigate the next phase of work.”
"Tackling timely, industry-defining topics head on, this research identifies significant globally and locally relevant learnings across 21 countries including India, United Arab Emirates, Saudi Arabia and South Africa,” said Zubin Zack, Managing Director for South Asia, Middle East and Africa at O.C. Tanner. “Especially for India, one of the fastest-growing economies in the world, an informed way forward is vital as the fight to attract and retain the best talent wages on.”
Sample key findings include:
- The average employee engagement score is down 18% from last year’s report.
- Crucial elements of successful hybrid employee experiences:
- Career development program: 68%
- Flexibility to choose the number of days worked remotely: 65%
- Clear expectations for availability when working remotely: 65%
- Opportunities for in-person social connection with coworkers: 58%
- When employees have schedule and location flexibility at work, the probability of cultural outcomes increase:
- Engagement: 41%
- Retention: 77%
- Likelihood to be a Promoter on the eNPS scale: 41%
- 61% of employees say the workplace is where they form most of their new friendships and that their social group at work inspires them to do their best work.
- 45% of employees say the number of individuals they regularly interact with at work has decreased significantly over the past year, and 57% say they engage in fewer social activities.
- In addition, 1 in 3 employees feel disconnected from their leader, furthering feelings of isolation and loneliness.
- When employees feel less connected to their workplace, culture, and purpose, the likelihood of great work falls 90%, the probability of burnout increases 11x, and the odds that employees will leave within three years surge 6x.
- Five distinct employee personas emerged and were defined, each with their own general focus, work style and self-esteem: Socializer, Tasker, Builder, Coaster, and Achiever.
- Each of these personas has a different probability of being engaged, and a different probability of doing great work. Builders and Socializers have the highest likelihood of doing great work, while Coasters have the least. Achievers have a relatively high probability of engagement, but not great work.
- Different types of recognition affect feelings of connection differently for each group. For the often-introverted Tasker, public praise has a negative effect, but eCards and monetary eCards increase connection. For Builders, any form of recognition builds connection. Public appreciation has the most significant impact on the more outgoing Achievers.
- The formula for creating peak employee experiences starts with meeting three basic needs: autonomy, connection, and mastery.
- When leaders understand employees’ recognition preferences and personalize recognition moments, the odds of higher autonomy satisfaction improve 126% and the chances of higher connection satisfaction jump 145%.
- Leaders who advocate for employee development increase the likelihood of satisfying autonomy needs by 115%, connection needs by 124%, and mastery needs by 131%.
- Organizations have a 7.5x increased likelihood of improving the employee experience when they meet the needs of employee autonomy, connection and mastery.