Reports Roundup Part 3: The Work Project 

Lee Smith

25 July 2023
Research Reports
This is the last of three posts showcasing a number of recently published research reports with an EX focus. This time we're shining the spotlight on the Work Project by UK agency Home, a new global survey looking at various aspects of employee experience. 
This new report, which describes itself as 'the global benchmark of employee experience', sets out to understand the new shape of work today, the experiences that are driving healthy cultures and, what a good day at work looks like.

It is based on a worldwide sample of 4,200 people spanning 53 countries, with Europe (37%) and North America (32%) being the two largest regions. The survey itself comprised 26 questions which are designed to provide insight across six key areas: purpose, vision, listening, leadership, wellbeing and belonging. 
Overall, it paints a fairly bleak picture of the world of work in 2023. In terms of the headlines, here’s what leaps out for us: 

  • Only 30% of people said they would actively recommend where they work. So, a massive 7 out of every 10 employees wouldn't!  That's pretty damning. 

  • Over a third (34%) of employees working for organisations with the least healthy cultures are actively looking for a new job, while nearly a quarter (24%) of those in organisations with the most healthy cultures are.  That's not a massive difference and it underlines that, even when you get culture right, sometimes that just isn't enough to hang onto people. 

  • Those employees who reported the most healthy cultures were nearly twice as likely to have more good days at work than those who reported the least healthy cultures.  It's not surprising to find that a good culture creates better everyday experiences for employees, but it's good to be able to quantify the impact. 

  • 1 in 4 people have felt discriminated against at work and, of those, 83% of them are looking for a new job.  This one is really depressing and underlines how much more work we need to do inside organisations around diversity, equity and inclusion.  And, of course, it's no surprise that the vast majority of those who have been discriminated against want to leave! 

  • On listening, a third of people say they do not feel listened to at work, a quarter don’t feel confident to speak up with a good idea and just under a third don’t feel safe speaking up if something isn’t right.  Again, that's really poor. Not being listened to is one thing, but to say you don't feel safe speaking up if something isn't right, is even worse.   

  • One third of people say they do not have a clear path for development.  
We know how important growth is to employees - it's an innate human need - and yet still a third of people say they don't have even a basic map for their future development. 

  • More than a third of people say they do not feel appropriately recognised for the work they do.  
The survey doesn't drill down into what recognition means in this context (it could be a sense of appreciation and gratitude from others, or it could relate to financial reward) but still that's a lot of people who do not feel recognised. 

  • Less than half of respondents believe their senior leaders are transparent, yet when they do some 80% report having more ‘good days at work’.  Again not surprising, but it's good to know that leadership transparency is so directly linked to positive EX. When asked what top three qualities they look for in a leader, a good listener (45%), respectful (30%) and collaborative (25%) scored highest.  

  • More positively, 79% of people say they know how the work they do contributes to the success of their employers. Of course, this does not mean they do!  

  • And 77% say their company has a set of values, yet only 54% of this number say these values are ‘true to life’.  However, this research doesn’t probe understanding of those values, so we don’t actually know how well understood they are. 
As with the other reports we've shared recently, we're left with a very strong sense that we really must do better!  This data underlines that performance across most of the six areas this report focuses on - purpose, vision, listening, leadership, wellbeing and belonging - is pretty poor when viewed through the eyes of employees.  Dig in and let us know what you think.... 

Want more? You can download the full report here.

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