Company Culture Crises

Almost half of employees say culture has deteriorated since the pandemic

  • The three Cs of COVID: culture, comms and churn are key issues as business leaders emerge from the pandemic
  • Less than half of employees have been adequately communicated with during the pandemic, and HR leaders reveal that churn has increased since the easing of COVID restrictions

London, UK; 19th August 2021: 42% of employees think the culture of their organisation has deteriorated since the pandemic. That’s according to research by StaffCircle, which surveyed* employees and HR leaders to determine the impact of the pandemic on company culture, engagement and communication.

The survey identified the three Cs of COVID – culture, communication and churn – as the key challenges for businesses, with 42% of HR leaders saying that churn has increased since the ease of restrictions, and 30% of employees more likely to leave jobs post-pandemic.

When it comes to communication, less than half (46%) of employees say they have been adequately communicated with during the pandemic. However, when HR leaders were asked whether they adequately communicated with employees, 97% said they do it well/to some degree. This shows a gap between how HR leaders feel they are communicating with employees and how employees feel about communication in their organisations.

Engaging employees

The survey also revealed that 43% of HR leaders feel that employee engagement and motivation towards work since the beginning of the pandemic is less engaged, with 34% saying it’s the same as pre-pandemic levels. From an employee perspective, the majority (44%) feel less engaged, and a fifth feel the same as before the pandemic.

When asked how they are engaging with employees and how frequently they conduct performance reviews, surprisingly just over one in ten (12%) still have 1-2-1 check-ins, once a quarter, and 7% have them annually. HR leaders are also struggling with the visibility of performance reviews, as 31% don’t have the systems in place to give them visibility of 1-2-1s and performance reviews. 18% are also still using Word and Excel to log the information from performance reviews, rather than using software and technology to give them insight.

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Mark Seemann, founder and CEO of StaffCircle, commented: “Culture and communication are the backbone of an organisation, and this survey highlights the challenges that organisations are facing during the pandemic. Reed Recruitment recently announced that it has seen a 5x increase in remote roles advertised, which shows that remote and hybrid working is here to stay. The issues with culture, comms and churn will only be exacerbated unless they are addressed.”

StaffCircle’s survey also asked respondents about their company mission statements and whether their employees know their company mission statement without checking. It found that 79% of companies haven’t updated their company mission statement since the pandemic, and 40% of employees don’t know their company mission statement. However, when asked how many of their employees know it without checking, 70% of HR leaders believe that their employees know their company mission statements.

“Communicating with employees has never been more important, with remote working, furlough and hybrid workplaces making it an essential part of the business landscape. Communicating your company mission and vision is key, yet this research has shown the disconnect between what employers believe their employees know and what they actually know. Having the right processes in place gives employers and HR leaders visibility and insight into the performance, engagement and communication with employees. This is essential not only for the pandemic but in the new world of work we live in.”

*The survey was conducted in August 2021 with 500 employees and 120 HR leaders.