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Organizational Culture

What We Measure

Do employees feel strongly connected to their workplace culture?

We measure U.S. employees’ perceptions of their organizational culture and the extent to which a strong culture is a competitive advantage for organizations.

Connection to Culture
I feel connected to my organization's culture.
Strongly Agree
Why it matters

Why Does Workplace Culture Matter?

Culture is the unique way that your organization lives out its purpose and delivers on its brand promise to customers. For this reason, a strong workplace culture functions as a differentiator in the marketplace.

Your culture is the special way you attract customers, retain them and turn them into brand advocates. It's also the way you attract highly talented employees and turn them into brand ambassadors. In our experience with clients, employees and teams who most align with their organizational culture consistently perform higher on internal performance metrics than those who least align.

Leader, Manager and Individual Connections to Culture

Unfortunately, only two in 10 employees strongly agree that they feel connected to their workplace culture.

Employees’ feelings of detachment align with how they believe their teammates and managers contribute to their organization’s culture. Only two in 10 employees strongly agree that their coworkers are committed to their organization’s cultural values, and the same proportion of employees strongly agree that their manager explains how the organization’s cultural values influence their work.

In contrast, employees tend to think the people who set the direction for the organization -- their leaders -- are more committed to the organization’s cultural values than the rest of the organization.

Gallup data show that senior leaders do indeed tend to have a better understanding and sense of alignment with their organization's culture than most other individuals do. In fact, leaders are twice as likely as individual contributors and team managers to strongly agree they feel connected to their culture.

In some ways, it's good for leaders to feel somewhat closer to their organization's values and culture because they set the tone for everyone else. However, a divide this large reflects a disconnect in how leaders and other employees are experiencing their work environment.

Notably, this gap in perceptions of connection to workplace culture is not simply due to the hierarchical nature of roles within organizations. Managers -- who are responsible for creating a strong sense of culture -- are nearly as likely to struggle with feeling connected to the organization’s culture as the people they lead. We often see that this results from managers experiencing the disconnect between the company messaging they are supposed to promote and the actual behaviors lived out in the organization.

Remote Work and Connection to Culture

The remote work twist: Fully on-site work isn't the answer to building your workplace culture.

In the new world of remote work flexibility, there is substantial concern that working outside the office too frequently will erode workplace culture and collaboration.

Gallup research shows that fostering culture and collaboration indeed tends to be more challenging when people mostly work from different locations. However, we caution that having employees work on-site does not guarantee a stronger connection to workplace culture, as is evident in the similar connection to culture for exclusively remote and on-site employees. Among all employees, those with a hybrid work arrangement have the strongest connection to their organization's culture.

Leaders are more likely than managers and individual contributors to be concerned about remote work flexibility hurting their workplace culture: 27% of leaders believe their workplace culture would get worse if many employees work remotely long term, but just 16% of individual contributors say the same.

Six in 10 U.S. employees at all job levels anticipate that if remote work becomes a norm at their organization, it will not have a long-term impact on their culture.

These insights highlight a need for greater awareness of the advantages and challenges of remote work flexibility, as well as training to work more effectively in a hybrid environment.

Results for the Gallup poll of U.S. employees are based on self-administered web surveys of a random sample of adults who are aged 18 and older, working full time or part time for organizations in the United States, and members of the Gallup Panel. Gallup uses probability-based, random sampling methods to recruit its Panel members. Gallup weighted the obtained samples to correct for nonresponse. Nonresponse adjustments were made by adjusting the sample to match the national demographics of gender, age, race, Hispanic ethnicity, education and region. Demographic weighting targets were based on the most recent Current Population Survey figures for the aged 18 and older U.S. population. In addition to sampling error, question wording and practical difficulties in conducting surveys can introduce error or bias into the findings of public opinion polls.

Gallup defines “exclusively remote” as employees working from home or a remote location 100% of the time. “Hybrid” employees are those who work from home or a remote location 10% to less than 100% of the time. “On-site” employees work from home or a remote location 0% to less than 10% of the time.

In line charts on this webpage, Gallup labels some data points with a year and month. Years that have only one data point labeled with the year and "Jan" (abbreviated for "January") reflect annual survey results. Years that have one data point labeled with a specific month besides January or that have multiple data points labeled with specific months reflect results obtained during the noted month(s). When Gallup’s survey field dates for one data point occur in more than one month, Gallup labels the data point with the ending month.

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Next Steps

How Does Your Workplace Culture Compare?

Global and regional data tell a story -- but the story of your organization is different. Visit the resources below for your next steps:

Achieve your aspirational culture. Access a preview of Gallup’s Culture Audit, including example questions that will help you start thinking critically about your workplace culture.

Build and sustain your ideal workplace culture. A strong company culture is a competitive advantage. Learn how we can help bring your workplace culture to life to deliver results.

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