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Longer hours preferable to poor culture for staff

Culture is vital to retention but many organisations are still slow in making improvements, according to research

The report from Speakap found that more than half (58%) of employees would take a job with a competitor company if they thought the new organisation had a better culture. When asked to choose between working 60 hours per week and working for a company that doesn’t value culture, nearly half (42%) said they would choose to work longer hours.

However, the research found that organisations have been slow to improve their cultures. More than a third (34%) said their company is stuck in its ways and isn’t open to suggested improvements.

The most important attributes of a strong culture were found to be respect and fairness (45%), trust and integrity (24%) and teamwork (8%).

Workplace relationships were found to be the backbone of strong culture. Almost all respondents (93%) said having a positive working relationship with their manager is either very important or important, yet 14% admitted that they don’t have that.

When asked what makes them feel connected to a company’s culture after the first 30 days, 25% of respondents said ongoing job guidance and support, 19% cited positive recognition and rewards, and 13% shift/schedule flexibility.

Patrick van der Mijl, co-founder and chief product officer of Speakap, said that too many organisations are focused on workplace perks rather than values. “The sad fact of the matter is that many companies today mistake physical perks and amenities as being a critical part of workplace culture. But they simply are not. Culture is the sum of a company’s values, traditions, beliefs, interactions, behaviours and attitudes,” he said.

“By focusing only on providing superficial perks such as free lunches […], video games, yoga and social outings, companies are proving that they don’t understand what culture truly means, how it should be activated, and how it can positively and negatively affect the employee experience.”

Speakap surveyed 1,000 UK employees.