ISS survey highlights need for positive workplace culture

Majority of respondents believe creating a sense of belonging among staff should be a priority for employers.

While 69 per cent of respondents to a recent survey commissioned by ISS stated that they have a sense of belonging at their workplace, more than half (51 per cent) also cited feelings of not being able to share their opinions freely.

In compiling the report Belonging in the Workplace, ISS commissioned market research firm Opinium to survey more than 4,500 adults who work in various industries below management level in larger organisations with more than 250 employees. Respondents were based across the United States, United Kingdom, Germany, Denmark, and Switzerland.

The survey found that the majority of respondents (78 per cent) believe that creating a sense of belonging among staff should be a priority for the employer.

According to the survey, 46 per cent of respondents stated that they did not feel respected or treated fairly by colleagues or management at least some of the time.

Of those with these feelings, one-fourth (25 per cent) linked this directly to worsened mental health (such as anxiety or depression) and/or worse personal well-being (25 per cent).

These negative feelings were also considerations of changing jobs (35 per cent) and working less than usual (29 per cent).

“The results confirm that creating a positive workplace culture where everybody feels safe is not a one-off activity. It requires constant consideration and should play a major role in every workplace decision, process, and solution,” said Corinna Refsgaard, ISS group chief people and culture officer.

“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. 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.”

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