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Employees who feel aligned with company values are more likely to stay

Employees who say their company’s mission, vision and values align with their own are far more likely to recommend their employer as a great place to work (70% vs. 25%) and to say their work gives them a feeling of personal accomplishment (72% vs. 29%), according to new research from Qualtrics. They’re also less likely to say they are thinking about leaving their current employer (33% vs. 44%).

On the other hand, nearly half (46%) of employees in the United States and United Kingdom say they are considering leaving their company because it does not adequately exemplify the values they personally hold. And over half (56%) would not even consider a job at a company if they did not agree with its values.

But what issues do employees really care about? More than 2,500 full-time and part-time employees surveyed said honesty and integrity are the most important values for companies to uphold, followed by employee well-being.

At a time of low unemployment when the demand for labor outweighs the number of people available to do the work, employees now have a greater sense of power to demand more from their employers. A regular paycheck no longer cuts it when it comes to worker expectations. Increasingly, people look to their employer for everything including providing fulfillment with meaningful work, physical safety, mental health support and protection from discrimination. Here’s how setting the right company values and living up to them can make a big difference for retention and recruitment.

Gen Z is mostly likely to leave due to mismatch in values

While the majority (52%) of workers would be willing to take a pay cut to work at a company that has values better aligned with their own, research shows Gen Z and Millennials are the most concerned about company values when it comes to choosing whether to stay with their current employer.

  • Gen Z is the most likely to say they would take a pay cut to work at a company with better values, with more than two-thirds (68%) saying they would take a 5% pay cut or more, compared to just 35% of Boomers.

And it’s not just the values of the company itself that matter. Overall, 39% of workers say they are likely to leave even if the company does business with customers, partners or suppliers that have detrimental values.

  • Once again, younger generations are the most likely to be concerned, with 51% of Gen Z saying they are likely to leave a company because of who it does business with, compared to 26% of Boomers.

Most employees want to see leaders speaking out on current issues

Around the world, company leaders are taking a stand on everything from the war in Ukraine to homophobia. Nearly half of employees (49%) agree it’s more important for leaders to speak out on social, political and environmental issues now than ever before. And many want companies to go beyond making a public statement and take action.

  • Only 27% say their companies are taking enough action against racism
  • Just 25% are satisfied with their company’s approach to climate change
  • And only 13% think their company is doing enough about human rights abuses against the world

Employee well-being, climate change and racism among top issues to address

The top issues employees would like to see leaders address are employee well-being, including mental and physical health and work-life balance. These issues are followed by climate change, racism and social justice.

But it’s important for leaders to get their stances right. Some 13% of workers would consider quitting if a company leader made a statement they disagreed with about a social, environmental or political issue. And refusing to speak out is almost just as risky. Nearly one in ten (9%) would consider quitting if a company leader refused to make a statement about something important going on in the world.

Ultimately, speaking out can open a door to a conversation. Although some employees say that, if they disagree with a leader’s stance, they would consider disengaging from work (18%) or walking out of a meeting (17%), a third (33%) would address it privately with the leader.

Learn more about EX

Methodology: This study was fielded between April 7 and April 21, 2022. Respondents were selected from a randomized panel and considered eligible if they live in the United States or United Kingdom, are at least 18 years of age and are employed full-time or part-time. The total number of respondents was 2,348. Respondents who did not pass quality standards were removed.



Qualtrics // Experience Management

Qualtrics, the leader and creator of the experience management category, is a cloud-native software platform that empowers organizations to deliver exceptional experiences and build deep relationships with their customers and employees.

With insights from Qualtrics, organizations can identify and resolve the greatest friction points in their business, retain and engage top talent, and bring the right products and services to market. Nearly 20,000 organizations around the world use Qualtrics’ advanced AI to listen, understand, and take action. Qualtrics uses its vast universe of experience data to form the largest database of human sentiment in the world. Qualtrics is co-headquartered in Provo, Utah and Seattle.

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