COVID silver lining? Company culture may have actually improved during pandemic

by | Oct 21, 2020 | Covid-19, Public Relations

Besides house pets and maybe the ozone layer, very few things have benefitted from the COVID crisis—but according to new research from healthcare staffing firm CHG Healthcare, many firms can add their own corporate culture to that short list.

For its new study, What 2020 has taught us about culture, the company surveyed more than 800 U.S. workers, revealing attitudes and sentiments toward workplace culture, working from home, mental health, and diversity, equity and inclusion.

“In a year that has thrown curveball after curveball, it is more important than ever for companies to make sure they are taking care of their employees and that their company culture remains a priority,” said Kevin Ricklefs, chief culture officer at CHG Healthcare, in a news release. “This survey offers valuable insights into the mind of the current workforce, including how they define culture, what is important to them and how the current pandemic has impacted it. The results can serve as a roadmap for companies at any stage along their culture building journey.”

COVID silver lining? Company culture may have actually improved during pandemic

The survey sought insights on what culture really means to employees, as well as key factors affecting culture such as COVID-19 and long-term remote work, mental health, and diversity and inclusion within a company.

COVID silver lining? Company culture may have actually improved during pandemic

Key findings include:

Many have left a job due to bad company culture

With 84 percent of women and 75 percent of men (79 percent of employees overall) stating they have left a company due to bad company culture, companies need to evaluate what they are offering their employees, as well as who is maintaining the culture. Over half of employees (68 percent) said they would rather have a good work environment or fair treatment over tangible perks (.5 percent).

COVID silver lining? Company culture may have actually improved during pandemic

Employees also expect managers to play the biggest role in enforcing a good company culture, and when it comes down to characteristics of a manager, employees would rather have a trustworthy leader and mentor than a friend.

COVID silver lining? Company culture may have actually improved during pandemic

Culture can still stay strong during a pandemic, but check in on your employees’ mental health

Nearly three quarters of respondents (74 percent) began working from home due to COVID-19, and despite the disruption that the pandemic has caused in their lives, 54 percent stated that their culture remained the same and 20 percent said that the culture actually improved. However, it is still important to check in on the mental health of employees, as nearly half (48 percent) said their work had a greater impact on their mental well-being during the pandemic.

COVID silver lining? Company culture may have actually improved during pandemic

Companies need to prioritize diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI)

Diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) has emerged as one of the greatest challenges facing businesses today. Seventy percent of respondents said diversity is very or extremely important to them when it comes to a successful workplace culture, and over half of respondents (52 percent) indicated a company’s focus on DEI is important to them when looking for a prospective employer.

COVID silver lining? Company culture may have actually improved during pandemic

However, only 50 percent said their company’s leadership is diverse and 82 percent felt diversity within leadership is key to having a greater impact on the company culture. This proves that companies still have work to do on the DEI front, and having a diverse workforce is beneficial for everyone within a company—from management all the way to the frontline workers.

COVID silver lining? Company culture may have actually improved during pandemic

View the entire report here.

CHG Healthcare surveyed more than 800 U.S. workers ranging from ages 18-71. CHG designed the survey instrument to worker attitudes and sentiments toward workplace culture, working from home, mental health, and diversity, equity and inclusion. CHG administered the survey over a 16-day period in late July and August 2020.

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Richard Carufel
Richard Carufel is editor of Bulldog Reporter and the Daily ’Dog, one of the web’s leading sources of PR and marketing communications news and opinions. He has been reporting on the PR and communications industry for over 12 years, and has interviewed hundreds of journalists and PR industry leaders. Reach him at richardc@bulldogreporter.com; @BulldogReporter

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