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Employers can do ‘much more’ to create a positive culture: survey

Photo: kali9/iStockphoto

Soborg, Denmark — About half of employees are hesitant to share their thoughts and opinions freely at work, and many say they’ve been treated unfairly, results of a recent survey show.

Commissioned by ISS, a workplace experience and facility management company, researchers surveyed 4,500 employees representing various industries in the United States, the United Kingdom, Demark, Germany and Switzerland. All respondents worked in organizations with more than 250 employees and had jobs that were below management level.

Around half (51%) of the respondents said they had felt unable to share their opinions freely in the workplace at least some of the time over the past 12 months. Approximately 46% said they didn’t feel respected or treated fairly by managers or co-workers at least some of the time over the same period.

“While a majority of the people we have surveyed express a sense of belonging, we also observe a high number who have had negative experiences at work – experiences directly linked to worsened mental health and lower productivity,” Corinna Refsgaard, group chief people and culture officer at ISS, said in a press release. “Dealing with this is critical for both individuals and businesses. The good thing is that there is much more we can do to increase psychological safety and well-being in the workplace.”

The respondents said employers could strengthen workers’ sense of belonging by providing more flexibility in terms of working hours and remote work, supporting more freedom of opinion, and offering more opportunities to socialize.

“The results confirm that creating a positive workplace culture where everybody feels safe is not a one-off activity,” Refsgaard said. “It requires constant consideration and should play a major role in every workplace decision, process and solution. There is no ‘one size fits all’ solution. However, it is important that actions are specific and measurable and – most importantly – embedded across the entire leadership team and organization.”

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