2021 Global Culture Report: What HR leaders need to know

HRD investigates the key takeaways of this ground-breaking research

2021 Global Culture Report: What HR leaders need to know

It’s easy to look at the events of 2020 and focus only on the negatives

However, a more interesting and beneficial approach is to look at how organisations can use this disruption to their advantage.

The 2021 Global Culture Report is designed to help organisations understand where their workplace culture and employee experience focus needs to lie to be successful over the coming decade.

The findings are the result of input from 40,000 employees, leaders and executives from 20 countries based on a combination of focus groups, one-to-one interviews and online surveys. The result is 13 million data points on which O.C. Tanner has based its findings.

Alan Heyward, managing director Asia Pacific, O.C. Tanner, told HRD that while the report contains some familiar themes, the stakes seem to have been raised across the board.  

“The way in which organisations design and implement their inclusion and diversity frameworks and initiatives will be under the spotlight,” he said.

“Those who think they can treat inclusion – and exclusion – on a purely superficial (and, therefore, ineffectual) level, will struggle.”

Another key insight is the haphazard way in which technology has been implemented and embraced over the past decade must give way to a truly integrated ecosystem.

“This will ensure that different elements of the employee experience are available in the flow of work and will be a basic expectation of the employee experience moving forward,” said Heyward.

The report also covers the evolution of leadership methods and principles  - from outdated, traditional modes to a more inclusive, modern approach.

“This will be a non-negotiable if organisations are serious about creating a thriving culture; and they should be serious about it,” said Heyward.

He said organisations with a thriving culture took a 5% hit to their NPS as a result of COVID-19, while those with a non-thriving culture experienced a 63% decline in their NPS.

O.C. Tanner will be sharing insights, themes and takeaways from the report in an upcoming webinar titled Unpacking the 2021 Global Culture Report.

The research also found that recognition is an ever-present feature to enhance workplace culture. For those organisations who have a program in place, how can they adopt a more holistic focus? And how can recognition become more personalised and more habitual, so it becomes part of the organisational DNA?

“A large proportion of employees and leaders feel their recognition programs have become stale and disconnected. If it’s seen as ‘set and forget’, it’s a strong indicator that recognition is treated as a passing HR initiative rather than an organisational imperative.”

An additional, well-documented challenge will be how organisations integrate the emerging Generation Z into the workforce. The key will be focusing on the synergies between the generations, as well as the differences.  

Based on the findings, Heyward’s advice to organisations is to treat workplace culture and the employee experience as business imperatives that will have a large say in your success over the coming decade.

“Those organisations with thriving cultures – who monitor, predict, adapt to and capitalise on emerging trends – are those that will continue to outperform their competitors.”

To hear more insights relating to current state of workplace culture and employee experience, sign up to the O.C. Tanner webinar, Unpacking the 2021 Global Culture Report.

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