35% Of Americans Think Their Employers Are ‘Culture Conning’

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74% of employed Americans say elements of their company culture is ‘broken’ survey uncovers the real state of american workplaces

DETROIT, MICHIGAN – New USA research commissioned by Employer Brand Consultancy Blu Ivy Group (conducted among members of the online Angus Reid Forum USA) shows that after 2+ years of COVID, personal and professional priorities may have shifted for American employees.

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Key Findings of the survey:

  1. An Employee’s individual purpose trumps popcorn

Asked what they value most about a company’s work culture, 31% of employed Americans ranked ‘purpose - feeling like the work I do is making a difference’ among their top three responses. Purpose trumped vacation time (30%), management that’s responsive to the needs of workers (28%), opportunities for professional advancement and growth (22%), and ability to work remotely (19%) as top valued company work culture points.

In contrast, only 8% of respondents chose in-office perks (e.g. free snacks, beer, daycare, gym fitness center etc).

‘Purpose’ was only topped by benefits (38%) and flexible work hours (33%.)

Purpose (21%) was less of a priority for workers who worked from home/remotely pre-pandemic.

“As a cornerstone of any employer brand strategy, companies need to take a close look at what their talent will receive in addition to perks and benefits. It’s essential for employers in the post-pandemic workplace to connect the work of talent to both purpose and impact,” said Stacy Parker, Managing Director and Co-Founder of the Blu Ivy Group. “We work with our clients to carefully and concretely define their employer brand and employee value propositions.”

  1. The (Culture) Con is on:

  • About a third (35%) of employed Americans believe their workplace/employer is 'Culture Conning,' defined as a practice by which companies market themselves as having inclusive, employee-centric workplace cultures to recruit employees, but fail to deliver on that promise.
  • Younger respondents (18-34) are significantly more likely to believe this (41%) than those aged 35-54 (34%) and especially those 55+ (27%).
  • One-in-five (22%) employed Americans, including three-in-ten (31%) under the age of 35, have left a position or a company due to ‘Culture Conning.’

“Establishing a well-built and managed employer brand ensures that companies aren’t ‘culture conning’ or falsely advertising a culture that doesn’t exist,” added Parker. “Committed brands need to truly and thoughtfully embed a strong employee promise into the fundamental culture and experience of the company.”

  1. Workplace cultures are cracking (and managers may be cracking them:)

Three-quarters (74%) of employed Americans could cite at least one aspect of their company culture that is “broken.” The top answers cited were: leadership/management (28%), lack of trust between staff and management (23%), lack of work/life balance 23%, and an unsustainable workload (21%).

“Workplaces don’t have to crack, they can bend, adapt and change with genuine insights,” said Parker. “An employee value proposition is the solution to provide leaders and managers with a clear understanding of what talent want and need most. Companies need to learn how they can deliver more consistent experiences aligned to an employee value proposition promise.”

  1. Over a quarter of Americans may covet competitor’s work cultures

Three-in-ten (29%) employed Americans, including two-in-five (39%) under the age of 35, are envious of a competing company’s work culture, with better benefits (50%) by far the most common reason given.

  1. Americans stand behind their social causes

A total of 78% of employed Americans say it’s important that their company stands behind social causes that align with their values. It’s essential to 15%, very important to 30% and somewhat important to 33%.

  1. 82% of Americans could be coaxed to join the competition

Besides a higher salary, employed Americans could be lured away from their current employer with:

  • More vacation time, 42%
  • Ability to work remotely, 36%
  • Better training and personal development, 33%
  • Ability to work closer to home, 25%

About Blu Ivy Group

Blu Ivy Group is a leading North American employer branding consultancy, providing research, strategy, creative and communications solutions that drive winning workplace cultures and preferred employer reputations.

About the Survey

These are the findings of a study/survey conducted by Blue Ivy Group from March 25-29, 2022 among a nationally representative sample of n=1,013 full-time and part-time employed Americans who are members of the online Angus Reid Forum USA, balanced and weighted on age, gender and region. The survey was conducted in English.

About Angus Reid Forum surveys:

The precision of Angus Reid Forum online polls is measured using a credibility interval. In this case, the poll is accurate to within +/-3.1 percentage points, 19 times out of 20. All sample surveys and polls may be subject to other sources of error, including but not limited to coverage error and measurement error.

About the Angus Reid Forum USA:

The Angus Reid Forum USA is an online community of adults who voice their opinions and share insights on a range of consumer and political topics. Members answer questions by completing short, easy, and interesting surveys on issues that matter.

Leaders and decision-makers across America want to know what consumers think and use the Angus Reid Forum USA to find out. Members of the Forum are given a voice at the table to influence and impact decisions in their local community and across the country.

By doing surveys, members either earn points redeemable for online gift-cards or get entered into sweepstakes draws with chances to win gift cards from a variety of retailers.