Dissatisfaction is Brewing: Research reveals Non-management Employees Left Unfulfilled by Workplace Culture

The workplace culture at businesses across Western Europe is not sufficiently tailored to the needs and expectations of non-management employees, according to new research from Oracle. While most manager and director-level workers feel they receive the tools, guidance and feedback they need to flourish, the majority of employees in non-management positions believe more must be done to help them develop and contribute to their company’s success.

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Oracle’s “From Theory to Action” study set out to assess how employees at all levels feel about their company’s workplace culture, and to examine how culture affects both their performance and attitude towards their employer. A total of 1200 workers from France, Germany, the Netherlands, Spain and the UK were surveyed as part of the global research.

A disconnect between senior staff and non-management employees

Among the most telling revelations from the research is the fact that only 37 percent of non-management employees are proud to work for their organization. By comparison, roughly 70 percent of senior managers and directors say they are proud to work for their company.

Equally troubling is the finding that just 22 percent of employees outside the management ranks feel their company is concerned with their overall well-being and less than one-third feel their business leaders are visible and approachable.

The result of this disconnect is a widespread sense of disillusionment among those in non-management positions. Only 21 percent feel they can advance their career with their current employer and just 39 percent see a long-term future with their company.

Andy Campbell, HCM Strategy Director at Oracle commented: “Pay will always be a motivator for employees at every level, but today’s workforce also places a great deal of emphasis on workplace culture. They want to feel they play a significant role in their company’s success. Innovative thinking is happening at every step of the pay scale, but businesses risk losing out on valuable contributions if they don’t give all their staff the opportunity to showcase their talents.”

Shortcomings in training and development

Employees outside the management ranks feel particularly let down by their opportunities for growth and development compared with those given to their more senior colleagues.

Just 25 percent of non-managers say their learning and training is linked to their development plan, compared with over 60 percent of senior managers and directors.

Only 31 percent have had a career development review in the past year, compared with almost 70 percent of senior managers and directors.

Non-management workers are also dissatisfied with the workplace collaboration technologies available to them. Only 22 percent say their company provides online or collaborative learning tools to promote their development. Meanwhile, nearly three-quarters of directors say they have access to these kinds of tools.

This suggests companies are withholding valuable resources from their non-management staff, or that there is a gap between what senior employees view as useful collaboration tools and what expectations non-managers have of workplace technologies.

Andy Campbell added: “Experience and tenure are valuable assets, but they are no longer viewed as the sole indicators of an employee’s potential and value to the business. The leaders at some of today’s largest organizations are younger than many of their employees.

Employee engagement must be a focus across the entire organization, not just senior team members. Businesses must focus on nurturing their talent at all levels if they are to be successful in the longer term, and it falls to HR leaders to step up and ensure their organization takes a democratic approach to learning and development.”