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Qualtrics Research: In the Wake of the Pandemic, a Great Divide in Company Culture has Emerged

Last updated:  August 23, 2022


2022-08-23

Half of Europeans felt a strong company culture and attributed it to open and honest communication. The other half experienced poor company culture and blamed low morale

LONDON, (August 23, 2022)  — Qualtrics (Nasdaq: XM), the leader and creator of the experience management category, has launched new research showing a great divide in the impact of the pandemic on company culture. Half of European employees felt the pandemic had a positive impact on company culture – according to employees in France (50%), Germany (48%) and the UK (62%), but it was not the case for the remaining respondents.

Those who experienced positive changes to company culture in the last two years, cited this as being a result of an increase in open and honest communication from the business and feeling heard by the organisation. In fact, over half of workers across all markets say receiving increased communication from the company has been important (FR: 55%, DE: 56%, UK: 59%).

In addition, having managers who are effective listeners (FR: 51%, DE: 50%, UK: 59%) and care for them personally (FR: 47%, DE: 48%, UK: 56%) are also essential drivers towards a positive working culture. During the pandemic, companies could not rely on employees being physically together to gather information. Instead, many companies moved to communication via digital channels to keep teams informed, the increased communication, listening and the empathy shown has resonated well with employees.

However, there are areas where more work needs to be done and employers should be mindful that employees face challenges. While businesses have done what they can to build a positive culture in a hybrid working environment, it can be difficult to keep this connection. Organisations should use opportunities to be together in person to boost morale and a sense of belonging.

In fact, when asked about the negative changes to company culture that have resulted since the pandemic, employees cited more division among co-workers (FR: 15%, DE: 15%, UK: 11%) and low employee morale as the top concerns, with low employee morale felt by more people in the UK (19%) than in France (10%) and Germany (12%).

With less than a fifth believing they have gained a better work/life balance in the last two years (FR: 18%, DE: 15%, UK: 19%) and some feeling there is no more concern for employee wellbeing (FR: 20%, DE: 18%, UK: 17%), organisations have work to do to retain talent. Leaders must explore how to keep employees engaged, for example this may be working flexibly over a four-day work week or trialling other options, the key is to open discussion with employees and receive and act on feedback.

The future looks bright with over half of respondents agreeing that work gives a feeling of personal accomplishment (FR: 54%, DE: 51%, UK: 58%). From this it’s clear that focusing on creating an employee experience that helps employees feel valued, adequately challenged and supported is critical to boosting morale and further nurturing great company cultures.

Phil Pringle, Employee Experience Specialist at Qualtrics, said: “Improved communication has been a clear driver in improving company culture. The mission for leaders now is to have the right listening in place, at the right time and acting on that information to ensure they are keeping their employees engaged.”

Engaged employees drive a better customer experience and ultimately a more successful organisation. Business leaders wanting to succeed should ensure their employee listening programme is up to date, and that they are truly listening and using the feedback they receive to make changes that engage their workforce, and drive a more successful business.

Methodology

This study was fielded between April 7 and May 1 2022. Respondents lived in the UK, France or Germany, are at least 18 years of age, and are employed full-time. The total number of respondents was 3,209 (UK – 1,170 / France – 1,021 / Germany – 1,018). Respondents who did not pass quality standards were removed.

About Qualtrics  

Qualtrics, the leader and creator of the experience management category, is changing the way organizations manage and improve the four core experiences of business—customer, employee, product and brand. Over 16,750 organizations around the world use Qualtrics to listen, understand and take action on experience data (X-data™)—the beliefs, emotions and intentions that tell you why things are happening, and what to do about it. The Qualtrics XM Platform™ is a system of action that helps businesses attract customers who stay longer and buy more, engage employees who build a positive culture, develop breakthrough products people love and build a brand people are passionate about. To learn more, please visit qualtrics.com.