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Workplace community is tops in the minds of UK workers

Since we spend significant chunks of our waking hours at work, it make sense that friendships, partnerships and teamsmanship should develop – ultimately forming a workplace community. Even the most rudimentary and menial of work roles involve people. We’re not machines, after all.

Keith MacKenzie
Keith MacKenzie

Passionate about human resources, employment, and business management, and an expert at sharing that expertise.

workplace community UK

Our Great Discontent survey of 500 workers in the UK found that the ‘community’ of the workplace is very important – more so than the externally facing aspects of a company such as their reputation and even their contribution to society at large.

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Let’s dig in:

How important is workplace community?

When we asked what aspects about an employer would attract respondents to a new opportunity, the most popular attractor picked by respondents is their relationship with colleagues and teammates (47.3%) with overall company culture (34.7%) lagging behind in second.

Responsiveness of the company to individual employees is in third at 28.3%. Management and executive leadership, company mission / vision / values, brand reputation, and company transparency were more or less evenly represented down the list – except for one.

Lingering at the very bottom of the list is social / environmental / DEI engagement and action, with just 13.4% of respondents picking that as something that would attract them to a new employer.

The lower value placed on those more value-driven aspects of a business shows that workers will be more likely to move because of an opportunity for stronger relationships with others in the workplace, whether they’re colleagues or management. This doesn’t necessarily mean that social / environmental / DEI engagement and action are not valued – they’re just not what people will move for.

These selections also make sense because respondents were asked to choose only three from this list. It shows what they prioritize in an employer. It’s very important to workers in the UK that they work well with others – and to have a thriving, healthy workplace community.

How important is employee experience?

The same rings true when asking the question about what employees would like to see improved for a better employee experience in their current capacity, with some additional insights.

Again, relationships with other workers tops the list, with 31.8% of respondents picking that as one of the three areas for improvement at their current employer. Respondents also want to see better responsiveness of the company to individual needs (30.1%), and improved management and executive leadership (27.2%).

“Managers should do 1-to-1 with staff; staff can share more ideas and problems.”

Again, the externally facing and brand-related elements rank at the bottom of what employers can do to better the working lives of their employees – especially brand reputation (7%).

No one likes to work in a vacuum. People like to work with people, and they want that to be a good relationship. And we like to be listened to; if our voices are heard, and in turn, acted on, that makes for a very powerful and positive workplace community and overall employee experience.

“If an employer shows that employees are valued, rewarded for loyalty and good welfare is in place then employees will be attracted or stay.”

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