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Company Culture: 5 Emerging Workplace Trends in 2022

Company Culture has always been important to the success of your organization, but it may be more important than ever.

For starters, the COVID-19 pandemic changed the way some companies do business almost overnight, and changes to workplace culture are still filtering into place, even as living with COVID becomes the new normal.

“Cultures will continue to evolve in reaction to the pandemic that changed everything. Companies will reinvent themselves and employees will help revolutionize their workplaces,” writes Michele McGovern for HR Morning.

If the pandemic was not enough on the plate of business owners, they have to contend with the highest inflation in decades and a historically tight labor market.

Company culture can not be ignored with McGovern pointing out that some studies have shown that almost 40 percent of employees want to leave their jobs because they do not like their workplace culture.

What is Company Culture or Workplace Culture?

The terms “company culture” or “workplace culture” get used a lot but definitions can differ depending on the source.

Or as Julian Lute of “Great Place to Work” says, “Ask 10 people to define “company culture” and you’ll get 15 different answers.”

Lute goes on to define company culture as “how you do what you do in the workplace. It’s the sum of your formal and informal systems and behaviors and values, all of which create an experience for your employees and customers.”

If that sounds like company culture is simply a feeling one gets, and something hard to quantify, Lute provides some specific variables that make of the core of a company’s culture:

  • How decisions are made
  • How people are hired, promoted, and fired
  • How employees communicate with each other
  • How employees are recognized by the company
  • How employees celebrate their work and each other

The Importance of Your Company Culture

Larry Alton, who covered changes in the American workplace for Forbes, said there are three main benefits of a strong company culture:

  • Identity: Your company culture helps set what values are important to your business and brand. Your employees will take their cue from this company culture and apply it in their jobs. Without a strong company culture, your staff will likely lack organizational direction.
  • Retention: A strong company culture attracts and retains talent better than competitors, and that is incredibly important in today’s historically tight labor market highlighted by “The Great Resignation”. When employees value their role and what their company stands for, they are less likely to seek employment elsewhere.
  • Image: Image can be everything and your customer and clients will take their cue from your company culture. How you treat your employees and how they view their company can translate into increased sales when viewed as positive and can lead to a loss of sales when the company culture is negative.

How much can your company’s bottom line be improved by a good company culture? Research shows that companies that made the “Fortune 100 Best Companies to Work For” list had almost triple the financial returns between 1998 and 2020 vs. the Russell 3000 index.

Workplace Culture 2022: Trends to Watch

Forbes contributor Caroline Castrillon, who covers career, entrepreneurship, and women’s advancement, says there are five emerging workplace culture trends in 2022:

  • Connection = Engagement: It is tough to stay connected to companies and work in isolated social times and work from home culture. Yet, having a sense of connection to company and work is very important for employee engagement with one study finding those that feel strongly connected to their employer, 75 times more likely to be engaged. A Gartner survey said HR’s top priorities for 2022 to help create this connection include diversity, equity, and inclusions strategies.
  • Employee Recognition: Another key component of employee engagement is perceived employee recognition. Castrillon says that by “creating a workplace culture that celebrates recognition, companies will attract and retain top talent.” This will be a challenge in 2022 as recent reports show employee recognition trending in the wrong direction, with 72 percent survey saying they know they will be recognized for their contributions to the company’s success vs. 81 percent that felt that way a year earlier.
  • Flexible Work: Far from being a stopgap measure during the early days of the pandemic, flexible work arrangements for employees are becoming an important part of company culture moving forward. A Harvard Business School survey found that 81 percent of employees that got a taste of work from home during the pandemic want to remain working remote or move to a hybrid work schedule that features some component of WFH.
  • Professional Development: The workers of 2022 are looking for professional development that can help broaden their skills and improve their work experience. Companies that offer avenues to professional development will help with employee retention, so important while a record number of American workers are voluntarily leaving their jobs each month.
  • Technology’s Role: Tech continues to play a central role in all aspects of our lives in 2022 and that includes company culture where the thoughtful integration of technology in the workplace can lead to higher employee engagement and lower employee turnover. One study showed that 77 percent of employees see advanced technology can help improve their work experience.

"There is no question that the pandemic has given workers the upper hand over employers. And the need to build cohesive teams is greater than ever,” concludes Castrillon. “So how can organizations win the talent war? By cultivating a workplace culture that engages, rewards and, most of all, inspires.”

PRT Staffing can help your company create the right workplace culture by providing you with comprehensive staffing solutions. Contact PRT today for your pipeline to skilled workers in the construction, industrial and energy, manufacturing, hospitality and events, and disaster recovery sectors.