O.C. Tanner Releases 2024 Global Culture Report, Providing a Rigorous Look at the Powerful Shifts in the Workplace

This year’s report examines the most pressing challenges and opportunities for how business leaders manage change, show empathy, practice flexibility, build skills, and develop resilience

Salt Lake City, UT – October 5, 2023 – Today, O.C. Tanner, the global authority for strengthening organizational culture through meaningful employee recognition, released its landmark 2024 Global Culture Report. Now in its sixth year, the report examines the current state of the workplace and equips leaders with the necessary insights and strategies to meet today’s most immediate and consequential challenges head on. Based on data gathered from more than 42,000 employees, leaders, HR practitioners, and executives from 27 countries worldwide, the comprehensive report’s release corresponds with today’s kickoff of Influence Greatness Virtual 2023.

Among other pressing topics, the 2024 Global Culture Report provides an extensive analysis of the group that makes up four-fifths of the world’s workers – many of which feel overlooked and underappreciated, despite being essential to success. The group, referred to as “the 80%,” overwhelmingly lacks access to the tools, technology, and opportunities necessary to connect and advance in their workplace, and the autonomy and voice to shape their workplace experience.

“Workplace cultures have seismically shifted over the past three years, and there are no signs of letting up. As the aftershocks and debates around workplace fundamentals, employee priorities, and leaders’ roles continue, this year’s report serves as a roadmap with insights to better navigate the ongoing transformation,” said Gary Beckstrand, Vice President of the O.C. Tanner Institute. “Organizations, especially those with large populations of frontline employees, need to work closely with their teams to create thriving workplace cultures—where all want to come, do their best work, and stay—in the face of ongoing change, and this research will help enable leaders to do so.”

Among other highlights, the research showed that people-centric solutions are the ones that win and endure, every employee wants to feel seen and valued, and resilience must exceed surviving the next challenge.

“Beyond an abundance of quality research that helps us better understand employee experiences worldwide, the 2024 Global Culture Report findings provide a reason for hope,” said Mindi Cox, Chief People and Marketing Officer. “We have a variety of crucial issues to attend to, but we’re seeing conditions and calculations with promise – numbers that translate into confidence that small shifts in the way organizations manage change, build skills, act with empathy, and develop resilience can create healthier workplace cultures.”

Sample key findings include:

-Only 27% of leaders feel strongly prepared to help their people navigate change.

-Employees who perceive their leaders have the tools to help them manage change are:

  • 5x more likely to feel a sense of community
  • 6x more likely to thrive at work
  • 10x more likely to feel a strong sense of trust
  • 76% less likely to experience burnout

-When leaders have the tools to help employees manage change, their own risk of burnout decreases by 73%.

-When employees have a voice in organizational changes, there are greater odds of: belief the organization is people-centric (8x), feelings of trust (8x), sense of community (5x), and thriving at work (3x).

-Only 59% of employees feel their leaders’ expressions of empathy are accompanied by meaningful action and support, and only 58% of organizations take action to improve after receiving employee feedback.

-Employees picture themselves staying 2.5 years longer at their organization when their leader is empathetic.

-When looking at the widening gap between the employee experience of “the 80%” and their corporate counterparts:

  • Workers in “the 80%” category are nearly 2x as likely as their corporate peers to feel they had no options when they accepted their jobs.
  • Only 35% feel they have freedom to take time away from work for personal errands (compared to 58% of corporate workers).
  • Only 45% say their organization supports them in learning new skills at work (compared to 69% of corporate workers).

-Half (50%) of “the 80%” feel expendable at work; only 30% feel seen and valued.

-Nearly two of every five in “the 80%” say they are viewed as inferior by employees in the office. Almost as many (35%) report senior leaders minimize or dismiss their ideas, and 39% say their work is not valued as highly as office work.

-The five contributing factors to creating equitable flexibility: leadership support, organizational support, employee empowerment, work choice, and time management.

  • When flexibility is equitable, there are 8x higher odds that employees want to stay another year.

-While people universally want flexibility for themselves, 68% feel it should also be available to every employee regardless of role. However, only about half (57%) say their culture supports flexibility in every job.

-Odds of burnout increase 5x when employees are dissatisfied with the level of flexibility at work.

-There are 5X greater odds of employee fulfillment when an organization supports skill building.

-Many organizations believe employees who want to learn new skills are plotting to expand their employment options. However, less than a quarter of workers (22%) say they’d want to build skills to leave for a job in a new field at a different organization.

  • Instead, 83% of workers said it’s important for prospective organizations to offer skill-building opportunities and the top reasons for wanting them are to improve performance in a current job (54%) and to achieve personal growth (53%).
  • Organizations that don’t provide any skill building have 76% lower odds of having a thriving workplace culture and 72% lower odds of having employees say they still want to work there in a year.

-Nimbly resilient employees, leaders, and organizations are guided by three powerful principles: adaptability, proactivity, and perseverance.

  • Only 30% of employees believe their organization is nimbly resilient.

-Over half (53%) of employees say they’re expected to just push through challenges without complaint, which leads to a 125% higher likelihood of burnout.

-Employees who believe their leaders are nimbly resilient are 9x more likely to think they are also nimbly resilient, which leads to higher likelihoods of engagement (+582%), feeling a strong sense of fulfillment in their work (+233%), and experiencing less burnout (–79%).

This comprehensive report can be accessed at O.C. Tanner’s website here: https://www.octanner.com/global-culture-report.  

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, O.C. Tanner’s research, analytics, and education team, 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 18 focus groups among employees and leaders of larger organizations. The groups and interviews were held throughout 2022 and 2023, each representing various types of employers, including both private and public entities.

Quantitative findings came from online survey interviews administered to employees across Argentina, Australia, Belgium, Brazil, Canada, Chile, China, Denmark, France, Germany, India, Italy, Japan, Mexico, the Netherlands, Poland, the Philippines, Saudi Arabia, Singapore, South Africa, South Korea, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, the United Arab Emirates, the United Kingdom, and the United States. The total sample size was 42,446 workers at companies with 500+ employees. The O.C. Tanner Institute collected and analyzed all survey data. This sample is sufficient to generate meaningful conclusions about the cultures of organizations in the included countries. However, because the study does not include population data, results are subject to statistical errors customarily associated with sample-based information. All figures, unless otherwise stated, are from the O.C. Tanner Institute.

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