Company culture reigns supreme.
That’s the main takeaway of new LinkedIn research released today. Indeed, its research finds that 70 percent of professionals in the U.S. today would not work at a leading company if it meant they had to tolerate a bad workplace culture. What’s more, people would rather put up with lower pay (65 percent) and forego a fancy title (26 percent) than deal with a negative environment.
Based on the results of that survey of 3,010 full-time U.S. workers, the networking site offers the following three tips for HR leaders “to foster a culture that makes people want to work for them–and, more importantly, stay.”
Tip 1: Invest in Employees
Committing to your employees’ wellbeing goes a long way. When it comes to retention, one of the top factors keeping professionals at their company for more than five years is having strong workplace benefits (44 percent). Think PTO, parental leave and health insurance. On top of that are more intangible areas that matter to employees; professionals say they are proudest to work at companies that promote work/life balance and flexibility (51 percent), foster a culture where they can be themselves (47 percent) and have a positive impact on society (46 percent).
While people generally love the idea of perks like free food and game rooms, the research shows this is actually one of the least enticing factors for keeping professionals at their current companies (19 percent). Instead, workers would much rather see their company focusing on benefits such as learning and development programs, and philanthropic opportunities.
Tip 2: Maintain Values
Values define your company at its core and are among the most important aspects for attracting and retaining great employees. Seventy-one percent of professionals say they would be willing to take a pay cut to work for a company that has a mission they believe in and shared values. Additionally, nearly two in five (39 percent) professionals would leave their current job if their employer were to ask them to do something about which they have an ethical or moral conflict.
Appeal to today’s professionals by establishing a clear set of values, communicating them during the hiring process and onboarding, and ensuring your business practices bring those values to life.
Tip 3: Create a Culture of Belonging
Belonging is what allows employees to feel like they can be their authentic selves without fear of different treatment or punishment–and it has a major impact on performance and retention. In fact, according to an internal survey, 82 percent of LinkedIn employees feel that they belong at the company, are comfortable being themselves, and believe that someone they work closely with cares about them as a person. That’s a rise of one point since the last survey six months ago, and eight points above the tech benchmark, according to Glint. Nearly half (47 percent) of professionals who are proud of the company they work for say it’s because their company has a positive culture where they can be themselves.
Cultivating an environment where all employees feel like they belong is the secret weapon for retention. The No. 1 factor keeping today’s professionals at their jobs for more than five years is having co-workers they enjoy working with and who they can be themselves around.