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Company culture at an all-time low: How can we turn this around?

By Jack Campbell | |5 minute read

The latest research has revealed that perceptions of company culture are at an all-time low in Australia. If this issue persists, employers could lose skilled workers and find it hard to attract new ones.

According to Gartner’s recent Talent Monitor Survey, employee perceptions of their organisation’s cultural awareness and behaviour have reached a record low of 27 per cent. This figure stood at 34 per cent the same time last year.

“Workplace culture is a very complex issue, and some organisations are falling short by putting blanket strategies in place, particularly when it comes to return-to-office mandates,” said Aaron McEwan, vice-president for Gartner’s HR practice.


These results are somewhat surprising, as diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) efforts have increased, rising from 62.4 per cent in Q1 2023 to 63.5 per cent in Q2 2023. Leaders should continue to recognise the importance of these initiatives in promoting a healthy workplace culture.

“It’s important that leaders are aligned internally and aren’t placing unnecessary pressure on employees or implementing DEI initiatives that simply tick a box,” commented Mr McEwan.

“To address effort and engagement levels, business leaders must consider implementing technologies of choice as part of their employee value proposition (EVP). This means collaborating with staff to test, trial and embrace new solutions. Interest in generative AI, for example, has been heavily led by employees seeking tools that have a positive impact on their productivity and personal performance.”

Understanding what’s driving employees away is crucial to resolving issues. According to Gartner, the 10 biggest influences on employee attrition are:

  1. Manager quality
  2. Respect
  3. People management
  4. Compensation
  5. Co-worker quality
  6. Work/life balance
  7. Future career opportunity
  8. Location
  9. Recognition
  10. Ethics

Mr McEwan explained: “Being treated like a person, rather than a number, remains a crucial priority for Australian employees. The impact and support from their leader could be the deciding factor that pushes them over the edge.”

Meanwhile, the top 10 drivers of attraction are:

  1. Location
  2. Work/life balance
  3. Respect
  4. Compensation
  5. Co-worker quality
  6. Vacation
  7. Manager quality
  8. Future career opportunity
  9. Ethics
  10. Stability

The importance of culture should not be ignored. Studies show that 71 per cent of employees would look for other work if company culture were to deteriorate. Meanwhile, organisations with a “robust culture” have up to 72 per cent higher employee engagement.

Recognising what’s keeping employees around and what’s pushing them away can help managers craft effective policies and improve company culture.



Attrition is defined as the process through which workers leave a company for whatever cause (voluntarily or involuntarily), such as retirement, termination, death, or resignation.


Your organization's culture determines its personality and character. The combination of your formal and informal procedures, attitudes, and beliefs results in the experience that both your workers and consumers have. Company culture is fundamentally the way things are done at work.

Jack Campbell

Jack Campbell

Jack is the editor at HR Leader.