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  • Writer's pictureMatthew Jenkins

Culture matters, so say the employees!

If you’re a fan of Glassdoor and follow them on any of the various social media channels available these days, or happen to follow or regularly read items shared by Business Insider, you’ll most likely have noticed that this week there has been a fair amount of noise surrounding employee engagement and the best and worst places to work in 2016/17. Already this month we’ve seen Glassdoor publish their findings on the top 50 businesses to work for in 2017 and hot on its heels we’ve now seen the top 25 tech companies to work for in 2016 too. Clearly it’s that time of year for staff surveys!

What’s interesting to see though in this latest report by Glassdoor is not so much that Apple is starting to slip down the rankings as a great place to work (note – still a great place to work and better than many but not as good as Google or Facebook!) but more that culture really matters to employees and especially so in tech companies.

Of the 25 companies referenced in the report, more than two thirds of the employee quotes referenced, specifically called out culture or an element of the culture in either a positive or negative way. As you’d probably expect, companies that are relatively new in the grand scheme of things (Facebook, Concur, AirBNB) all received glowing comments talking up the culture as one of the best things about working for the organisation (a “pro”). Whilst some of the companies now considered “older” having been around a lot longer, didn’t fare so well with many employee quotes listing culture as a “con” or negative of working for such a great company.

It may come as no surprise therefore that as a positive, many employees of these top 25 tech firms listed “openness, collaboration and work life balance” as a distinct factor in what made their businesses such a great place to work. This opposes the more negative feedback of “lack of collaboration, creeping red tape and an overly competitive environment that ultimately fosters a negative work life balance” represented in the less favourably rated cultures.

This isn’t to say that the negatives are driving people to leave these companies, clearly they are doing other things right to combat every day negatives otherwise they wouldn’t be considered a top 25 place to work, but as technology becomes an ever increasing part of our daily lives and our business decision making, it would appear culture is ever more important to the lives of employees. Companies need to work extra hard to ensure that they keep abreast of the feelings of their people to ensure that the culture remains one that employees want to be part of, and not something that could be actively working against the company itself.    

In a nut shell, culture matters so if you're not in tune with it, get in tune, because employees clearly are. 

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