Only 27% Leaders Feel Strongly Prepared To Help Employees Navigate Change

According to O.C. Tanner's 2024 Global Culture Report, when leaders have the tools to help employees manage change, their own risk of burnout decreases by 73%, when employees have a voice in organisational changes, there are greater odds of: belief the organisation is people-centric (8x), feelings of trust (8x), sense of community (5x) and thriving at work (3x)


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Today, O.C. Tanner released its 2024 Global Culture Report. Now in its sixth year, the report examines the current state of the workplace and equips leaders with the necessary insights and strategies to meet today’s most immediate and consequential challenges head on. Based on data gathered from more than 42,000 employees, leaders, HR practitioners, and executives from 27 countries worldwide, the comprehensive report’s release corresponds with today’s kickoff of Influence Greatness Virtual 2023.

Among other pressing topics, the 2024 Global Culture Report provides an extensive analysis of the group that makes up four-fifths of the world’s workers – many of which feel overlooked and underappreciated, despite being essential to success. The group, referred to as “the 80 per cent,” overwhelmingly lacks access to the tools, technology, and opportunities necessary to connect and advance in their workplace, and the autonomy and voice to shape their workplace experience.

“Workplace cultures have seismically shifted over the past three years, and there are no signs of letting up. As the aftershocks and debates around workplace fundamentals, employee priorities, and leaders’ roles continue, this year’s report serves as a roadmap with insights to better navigate the ongoing transformation,” said Gary Beckstrand, Vice President of the O.C. Tanner Institute. “Organizations, especially those with large populations of frontline employees, need to work closely with their teams to create thriving workplace cultures—where all want to come, do their best work, and stay—in the face of ongoing change, and this research will help enable leaders to do so.”

Among other highlights, the research showed that people-centric solutions are the ones that win and endure, every employee wants to feel seen and valued, and resilience must exceed surviving the next challenge.

“Beyond an abundance of quality research that helps us better understand employee experiences worldwide, the 2024 Global Culture Report findings provide a reason for hope,” said Mindi Cox, Chief People and Marketing Officer. “We have a variety of crucial issues to attend to, but we’re seeing conditions and calculations with promise – numbers that translate into confidence that small shifts in the way organizations manage change, build skills, act with empathy, and develop resilience can create healthier workplace cultures.”

“Symbiotic partnerships and people-centric initiatives have fuelled remarkable shifts over the past decade in IMEA making it a truly diverse and dynamic ecosystem. This evolution has amplified employment prospects and compelled numerous multinationals to establish satellite offices in the region. With workplace culture and strategies evolving even faster, the Global Culture Report 2024 sheds more light of the importance of skill building, equitable flexibility and practical empathy. These elements are the cornerstones of a satisfying and enduring work sphere in the vibrant IMEA landscape and employers should seriously consider it to build a fulfilling and sustainable workplace.” - said Zubin Zack - Managing Director - South Asia, Middle East, and Africa. 

Some key findings include:

  • Only 27 per cent of leaders feel strongly prepared to help their people navigate change.
  • Employees who perceive their leaders have the tools to help them manage change are:
  • 5x more likely to feel a sense of community
  • 6x more likely to thrive at work
  • 10x more likely to feel a strong sense of trust
  • 76 per cent less likely to experience burnout
  • When leaders have the tools to help employees manage change, their own risk of burnout decreases by 73 per cent.
  • When employees have a voice in organisational changes, there are greater odds of: belief the organisation is people-centric (8x), feelings of trust (8x), sense of community (5x), and thriving at work (3x).
  • Only 59 per cent of employees feel their leaders’ expressions of empathy are accompanied by meaningful action and support, and only 58 per cent of organisations take action to improve after receiving employee feedback.
  • Employees picture themselves staying 2.5 years longer at their organization when their leader is empathetic.
  • When looking at the widening gap between the employee experience of “the 80 per cent” and their corporate counterparts:
  • Workers in “the 80 per cent” category are nearly 2x as likely as their corporate peers to feel they had no options when they accepted their jobs.
  • Only 35 per cent feel they have freedom to take time away from work for personal errands (compared to 58 per cent of corporate workers).
  • Only 45 per cent say their organisation supports them in learning new skills at work (compared to 69 per cent of corporate workers).
  • Half (50 per cent) of “the 80 per cent” feel expendable at work; only 30 per cent feel seen and valued.
  • Nearly two of every five in “the 80 per cent” say they are viewed as inferior by employees in the office. Almost as many (35 per cent) report senior leaders minimise or dismiss their ideas, and 39 per cent say their work is not valued as highly as office work.
  • The five contributing factors to creating equitable flexibility: leadership support, organizational support, employee empowerment, work choice, and time management.
  • When flexibility is equitable, there are 8x higher odds that employees want to stay another year.
  • While people universally want flexibility for themselves, 68 per cent feel it should also be available to every employee regardless of role. However, only about half (57 per cent) say their culture supports flexibility in every job.
  • Odds of burnout increase 5x when employees are dissatisfied with the level of flexibility at work.
  • There are 5X greater odds of employee fulfillment when an organisation supports skill building.
  • Many organisations believe employees who want to learn new skills are plotting to expand their employment options. However, less than a quarter of workers (22 per cent) say they’d want to build skills to leave for a job in a new field at a different organization.
  • Instead, 83 per cent of workers said it’s important for prospective organisations to offer skill-building opportunities and the top reasons for wanting them are to improve performance in a current job (54 per cent) and to achieve personal growth (53 per cent).
  • Organisations that don’t provide any skill building have 76 per cent lower odds of having a thriving workplace culture and 72 per cent lower odds of having employees say they still want to work there in a year.
  • Nimbly resilient employees, leaders, and organisations are guided by three powerful principles: adaptability, proactivity, and perseverance.
  • Only 30 per cent of employees believe their organization is nimbly resilient.
  • Over half (53 per cent) of employees say they’re expected to just push through challenges without complaint, which leads to a 125 per cent higher likelihood of burnout.
  • Employees who believe their leaders are nimbly resilient are 9x more likely to think they are also nimbly resilient, which leads to higher likelihoods of engagement (+582 per cent), feeling a strong sense of fulfillment in their work (+233 per cent), and experiencing less burnout (–79 per cent).

Tags assigned to this article:
OC Tanner Employee Experience Employee wellbeing


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