Survey: Employees, Executives Disagree on the Role of Social Media in Workplace Culture

New York — June 13

As social media continues to alter how people connect personally and professionally, its impact on building culture in the workplace is debatable, according to Deloitte’s new “Core Values and Beliefs” survey conducted online by Harris Interactive.

Examining perspectives on culture and business strategy, 41 percent of executives participating in the study believe social networking helps to build and maintain workplace culture, while only 21 percent of employees have the same view.

Moreover, business leaders and employees widely differ on whether social media has a positive affect on workplace culture — 45 percent and 27 percent, respectively — or allows for increased management transparency — 38 percent and 17 percent, respectively.

The majority of all respondents indicate that culture is important to business success. However, the study indicates executives tend to prioritize a clearly defined business strategy (76 percent) above clearly defined and communicated core values and beliefs (62 percent), whereas employees value them equally (57 percent and 55 percent, respectively).

The research also shows a correlation between employees who say their companies have clearly articulated and lived culture and those who are “happy at work” and feel “valued by their company.” Additionally, they indicate that their organizations have a “history of strong business performance.”

In considering the elements of workplace culture, executives rank competitive compensation (62 percent) and financial performance (65 percent) among the top factors influencing culture on the job. Conversely, employees say the intangibles — regular and candid communication (50 percent) and access to management (47 percent) — outweigh the tangibles, such as compensation (33 percent) and financial performance (24 percent).

The study also points out differences in the degree to which executives and employees perceive culture as being expressed in their organizations, with executives generally giving their organizations stronger scores.

Deloitte’s “Core Beliefs and Culture” Survey explores the notion of workplace culture, defined as a set of timeless core values and beliefs, as a business driver.

Commissioned by the Office of the Chairman, the study examines the connection between workplace culture and business strategy, and their impact on building and sustaining exceptional organizations.

Source: Deloitte