O.C. Tanner Unveils 2023 Global Culture Report as Workplaces and Organizations Continue to Evolve and Rebuild Connection in a Post-Pandemic World

As employees around the world collectively seek out a greater sense of connection, community, and fulfillment, the comprehensive fifth annual report examines the most pressing issues relevant to employee retention and great work in the midst of ongoing transformation

SALT LAKE CITY, Sept. 28, 2022 - O.C. Tanner, the global leader in employee recognition and workplace culture, today announced the release of its 2023 Global Culture Report. Now in its fifth year, the report details the latest trends and strategies to win and retain people, including: reconnecting workplace community, creating fulfilling employee experiences, fortifying weary leaders, and integrating recognition and symbolism early and often. Based on data gathered from over 36,000 employees, leaders, HR practitioners, and executives from 20 countries worldwide, the report was announced at O.C. Tanner's sold-out annual culture conference, Influence Greatness.

"The future of work depends on embracing change and rebuilding community within the workplace. This year's report demonstrates the importance of reconnecting employees with purpose and meaning," said Dr. Alexander Lovell, Director of Research and Data Science at the O.C. Tanner Institute. "Organizations should be deliberate in creating opportunities for employees to feel fulfilled in their work. Not only do they do better work, but we found that highly fulfilled employees want to stay at their organization for an extra three years. We hope this report will act as a guide for organizations and enable leaders to support, challenge, and inspire their employees to do great work."

As organizations continue to adjust to a new era of work and manage the uncertainty of a subsiding global pandemic and looming economic recession, the report highlights what employees want most: connection, community, and fulfillment. As organizations prepare for the next crisis, employees are still trying to heal from the disconnection caused by the pandemic. A sense of community is more important now that employees are returning to the office and searching for fulfillment and connection, but unfortunately, many organizations' current programs are failing to meet evolving employee desires. Successful organizations are the ones reconnecting with their people by adopting a community mindset where employees find meaning in their work, believe that they belong, and experience greater personal fulfillment.

"There's no such thing as 'work-life balance' – it's just 'life balance.' With that, a meaningful focus on employees' holistic wellbeing is crucial for organizations to retain and attract talent in today's environment," said Gary Beckstrand, Vice President of the O.C. Tanner Institute. "Data from our 2023 Global Culture Report shows that when organizations enable life balance, support the growth and development of everyone holistically, create a thriving workplace community, and help each person contribute to the collective purpose, great business outcomes are abundant."

Sample key findings include:

  • Highly fulfilled employees plan to stay three years longer at their organizations than unfulfilled employees.
  • Nearly one third (32%) of employees are unfulfilled in their jobs. These employees have 399% greater odds of looking for a job elsewhere, 71% decreased odds of promoting their organization as a great place to work, and 47% decreased odds of putting in extra effort to help their organization succeed.
  • When feelings of community, connection, and belonging are strong at an organization, the odds that employees will do great work (236%), take pride in the organization (318%), and want to stay (252%) are far better.
  • Most employees (76%) consider their workplace a community and almost as many (72%) say it's important for them to feel like part of a community at work.

When organizations score high on the Community Index, they experience great outcomes. Strong workplace communities have:

  • 957% higher odds employees will be Promoters on the eNPS scale
  • 100% higher odds of aspirational levels of great work
  • 62% increase in employee estimated tenure (from 7.1 years to 11.5 years)
  • 58% lower probability of employees actively looking for a new job
  • 785% higher odds employees feel like they belong
  • A sense of belonging leads to better retention (+43%), higher satisfaction with employee experience (40%), less burnout (-38%), and more great work (+20%).

With numerous new responsibilities and expectations placed on them, many leaders are succumbing to stress and burnout.

  • Leaders are 43% more likely to say work is interfering with their ability to be happy in other areas of their lives.
  • Just under two thirds (61%) of leaders report having more general responsibilities at work since before the pandemic, versus only one third (34%) of individual contributors who say the same.
  • While 79% of leaders think they have a "good sense" of what their employees want, only 48% of employees agree. Nearly one third (29%) of employees say there is a notable conflict between what their managers want and what their coworkers want, and only a little more than half (54%) believe their managers are "on my side."
  • Mid-level and entry-level leaders are 33% and 47% less likely to feel appreciated, respectively, compared to senior leaders. They also don't have as much access to resources and support as senior leaders do.

Despite the value they bring to the workplace and the high demand for them, many generalists feel under-recognized by their employers:

  • 50% feel their contributions are overlooked
  • 44% rate their employee experience positively
  • 43% feel unsupported in their work
  • Employees are three times more likely to remember a recognition experience when it includes a symbolic award.
  • When recognition occurs regularly in teams, the odds of having a strong community improve 508%. When it's integrated into the organizational culture, the odds improve 387%, and the strength of that community increases 19%.
  • Frequent, tailored recognition experiences spread throughout the year have a larger, more lasting impact on recognition integration and workplace culture than singular company-wide events—those "Employeepaloozas"—no matter how much organizations spend.

Access this comprehensive report, which serves up actionable data for business leaders seeking change.

About O.C. Tanner

O.C. Tanner is the global leader in software and services that improve workplace culture through meaningful employee recognition experiences. Our Culture Cloud employee recognition platform helps millions of people thrive at work.

Our team of more than 1,500 programmers, researchers, designers, client professionals, and craftspeople hail from 58 countries and speak 62 languages. Together, we create the technology, tools, and awards that help our clients shape productive work environments, drive innovation, and fuel positive business results. Learn more at octanner.com.

Research Methodology

The O.C. Tanner Institute uses multiple research methods to support the Global Culture Report, including interviews, focus groups, cross-sectional surveys, and a longitudinal survey.

Qualitative findings came from 10 focus groups and 81 interviews among employees and leaders of large organizations. The groups and interviews were held throughout 2021 and 2022, each representing various types of employers, including both private and public entities.

Quantitative findings came from online survey interviews administered to employees multiple countries, including Argentina, Australia, Brazil, Canada, China, France, Germany, India, Japan, Mexico, the Netherlands, Philippines, Saudi Arabia, Singapore, South Africa, South Korea, the United Arab Emirates, the United Kingdom, and the United States. The total sample size was 36,441 workers at companies with 500+ employees.

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