Everyone can think of a handful of companies that they'd like to work for - companies that for any vacant position receives hundreds upon hundreds of job applications.
What is about those companies that make them so attractive? Is it their reputation, company culture, how they take care of and reward their employees, their employer brand? The answer? Yes, it’s all of those things.
While COVID-19 affected organisations everywhere, how it impacts companies in the long term depends on the company itself. Whether a company’s brand has been strengthened or weakened as a result of the pandemic depends on how the company responded to events and how it has taken care of its employees.
Below are the three key ingredients that make a positive workplace and a good employer, from an employee perspective.
1. The Importance of Employer Brand
For our latest report, we surveyed more than 39,000 employees throughout Europe and, among the areas we explored, we looked at what European employees consider most important when choosing an employer today.
We asked participants to rate how strongly they agree with the statement, ‘Brand and image are crucial to me when choosing an employer.’ In Sweden, 40% of survey participants say they strongly agree, while only 13% of UK participants share the same opinion. 27% of participants in France and Germany, 25% in the Netherlands, and 17% in Denmark say they also strongly agree. Interestingly, 38% of UK participants and 24% of Danish participants strongly disagree that brand and image are crucial when choosing an employer.
Looking closely at the data suggests that while employer branding is somewhat important to the majority of participants, it is not the most significant factor when choosing an employer.
2. The Importance of Culture
Leading organisations understand the importance of a positive company culture. A company with a strong workplace culture draws talent to the organisation. A strong culture is when employees not only believe but breathe the company’s vision and mission, where employees feel safe, people thrive, goals are achieved, ideas reign supreme, and productivity soars.
We asked participants to rate how strongly they agree with the statement, ‘My current employer has a strong corporate culture.’ An impressive 58% of participants in Sweden say they strongly agree, while only 39% in the Netherlands, 34% in Demark, 32% in Germany, 28% in France, and 25% in the UK say the same.
When asked how important company culture is when deciding whether to stay with their current employer or seek a new one, a staggering 59% of participants in Denmark and 54% in the Netherlands say it is extremely important. 50% of participants in the UK, 48% Germany, 42% in France, and just 26% in Sweden agree that culture is extremely important.
These findings give employers an incredible opportunity to transform its company culture. This is especially true in the UK, where 50% of participants say culture is extremely important, yet only 25% say they strongly agree that their current employer has a strong corporate culture.
3. The Significance of Colleagues
A vital component of company culture is, of course, our colleagues. After all, week in, week out, we spend many hours working with our colleagues, be it digitally or physically.
As we share in the post How Your Colleagues Contribute to Your Happiness at Work, our colleagues contribute to our overall satisfaction at work as well as our productivity, creativity, feelings of connection, and even stress levels.
We asked participants how important they consider colleagues when deciding whether to stay with their current employer or change jobs. Like the findings regarding the importance of company culture, we see an incredible 80% of participants in Denmark and 75% of participants in both the Netherlands and Germany say colleagues are extremely important. 67% of participants in both the UK and France also share the opinion that colleagues are extremely important when deciding whether to stay with their current employer or find a new one.
Putting It All Together
We have only scratched the surface in this article regarding what European employees are looking for when choosing an employer. To learn more, download our report.
In any event, it’s safe to say that organisations would be wise to invest time and resources into strengthening their workplace culture, including the relationships between employees.
With employee health and well-being seen as the most critical issue for organisations everywhere today, employers are given an incredible opportunity to weave employee well-being into the fabric of its culture and place it at the front and center for all its initiatives.
For a deeper analysis of the above or to discover more findings from our study of more than 39,000 employees throughout Europe, download The Future of Work Report: Employee Benefits and Work Trends in Europe today!