• Barnett Waddingham
    Barnett Waddingham
  • The number one priority of successful businesses? Investment in employees

    New research into global perceptions of work across 17 countries reveals that none rank a strong set of leaders as a top trait for business success.

    Instead of focusing on individual high-performers, the results showed that successful workplaces are those that focus on investment in employees, which was found to be the most important trait of high-performing businesses globally.

    Slack’s Perceptions of Work research surveyed 6,899 knowledge workers worldwide, to discover the most important attributes of the modern workplace.

    Key findings from the collaboration hub include:

    • Bureaucracy is holding workers back – over half (51%) of UK workers – well over the global average – ranked bureaucracy as a top 5 workplace issue – suggesting structure rather than skills are holding workers back
    • UK workers find morale a bigger issue than in any other European country  – 7% of UK knowledge workers cited morale as the number one workplace challenge
    • UK workers find hierarchy 4x as big an issue as their German counterparts – just 2% of Germans considered hierarchy their number one workplace issue compared to 8% of UK workers, hinting at one cause of their well-established productivity divide
    • The individual and business value divide – businesses and individuals are split on priority work values and need greater alignment – autonomy at work ranked 3rd overall for individual values but didn’t break the top ten for business values

    Stuart Templeton, Slack’s Head of UK, said: “Business leaders today face new and rapidly changing challenges. However, our Perceptions of Work research shows that business and employee values often differ. In order to tackle today’s challenges effectively together, leaders should reduce bureaucracy and hierarchy and pay attention to how their employees work best together. Investing in easy communication, defining clear roles and building trust are each essential to creating stronger teams and businesses. Ultimately, this organisational transformation is key to building a healthy and effective workplace.”

    Results breakdown

    Top 3 Global Values – Personal, businesses and successful companies**

    Personal work values Current company values Successful company values
    Making money (61%) Efficiency (65%) Investment in employees (65%)
    Efficiency (59%) Making money (53%) Focus on customers (62%)
    Having autonomy at work (50%) Doing something new or innovative (46%) Responsive, fast to act to changes (56%)


    Top 3 UK Values – Personal, businesses and successful companies**

    Personal work values Current company values Successful company values
    Being part of a team or community (61%) Efficiency (67%) Investment in employees (68%)
    Working with colleagues I admire or respect (58%) Making money (58%) Focus on customers (67%)
    Efficiency (56%) Winning, beating competition (46%) Responsive, fast to act to changes (54%)


    Top 3 personal work challenges – Global and UK**

    Global UK
    Solving problems (48%) Bureaucracy (51%)
    Difficult customers or clients (42%) Difficult customers of clients (47%)
    Staying engaged and motivated (41%) Getting individual work done and workload (41%)


    * Survey by Slack and FactWorks. 6,899 respondents across 17 countries between 30/03/18 – 16/07/18.

    **Any response ranked from rank 1 to 5


    Stuart O'Brien

    All stories by: Stuart O'Brien

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