O.C. Tanner Unveils Landmark Study, the 2022 Global Culture Report, as Companies Continue to Navigate the “Great Resignation” Era


In a world where employers no longer hold all of the cards, the fourth annual report provides a roadmap for organisations as they move out of crisis and look to refine or rebuild their cultures

SALT LAKE CITY, UTAH – Media OutReach – 23 September 2021 – O.C. Tanner, the global leader in employee recognition and workplace culture, today announced the release of its 2022 Global Culture Report. In its fourth year, the report provides an in-depth look at timely workplace culture and employee experience issues based on data gathered from over 38,000 employees, leaders, HR practitioners, and executives from 21 countries worldwide. The report was announced at O.C. Tanner’s annual culture conference, Influence Greatness, which took place virtually for the second consecutive year.

“Demonstrating a causal relationship between employee recognition and the strength of connection between employees, this year’s landmark study supports over a decade of research to show that recognition is a critical tool for organisations, particularly in an era rife with disconnection and social fragmentation,” said Dr. Alexander Lovell, Director of Research and Data Science at the O.C. Tanner Institute. “Additionally, our research makes clear that the recent ‘Great Resignation’ phenomenon is only the beginning. Repairing the damaged aspects of workplace cultures is imperative, but will not be easy. It will take time to thoroughly rethink long-held beliefs about the employee experience and approaches to building workplace culture, and we hope this report will act as a guide for those company leaders looking to do so.”


As companies approach a post-pandemic era, the report highlights some of their greatest challenges: creating meaningful employee experiences and connecting people across the organisation. Generic, top-down programs for collaboration, recognition, and growth will no longer be effective. Because the pandemic has affected employees in extremely different ways, personalising the employee experience will be crucial to building inclusive cultures. Leaders will have to inspire great work in their people regardless of where it’s done. As they look to reimagine the workplace, organisations today have the opportunity to refresh their cultures—to exceed the best of their old normal, evolve their employee experiences, and focus on what will truly drive business results.


“The former concept of workplace ‘normalcy’ left the building in March 2020, and it’s not coming back,” said Gary Beckstrand, Vice President of the O.C. Tanner Institute. “A new landscape of work and business has emerged from the pandemic, and helping employees feel connected to purpose, accomplishment, and one another—no matter where or when they work—is more important than ever. With so much continued uncertainty, the 2022 Global Culture Report shines a light on the specific elements that organisations need to prioritise as they look to navigate the next phase of work.”


“No matter how tempting it may be to revert back to pre-pandemic modes of thinking and working, the 2022 Global Culture Report emphasises the need for organisations across the globe to continue the march forward,” said Alan Heyward, Managing Director for Asia Pacific at O. C. Tanner. “As markets recover and HR leaders continue to assert their position as a strategic partner through trying times, the findings from this extensive research can prove to be invaluable.”


Sample key findings include:

●        The average employee engagement score is down 18% from last year’s report.

●     Crucial elements of successful hybrid employee experiences:

        ○     Career development program: 68%

        ○     Flexibility to choose the number of days worked remotely: 65%

        ○     Clear expectations for availability when working remotely: 65%

        ○     Opportunities for in-person social connection with coworkers: 58%

●     When employees have schedule and location flexibility at work, the probability of cultural outcomes increase:

       ○     Engagement: 41%

       ○     Retention: 77%

       ○     Likelihood to be a Promoter on the eNPS scale: 41%

●     61% of employees say the workplace is where they form most of their new friendships and that their social group at work inspires them to do their best work.

●     45% of employees say the number of individuals they regularly interact with at work has decreased significantly over the past year, and 57% say they engage in fewer social activities.

        ○     In addition, 1 in 3 employees feel disconnected from their leader, furthering feelings of isolation and loneliness.

●     When employees feel less connected to their workplace, culture, and purpose, the likelihood of great work falls 90%, the probability of burnout increases 11x, and the odds that employees will leave within three years surge 6x.

●     Five distinct employee personas emerged and were defined, each with their own general focus, work style and self-esteem: Socialiser, Tasker, Builder, Coaster, and Achiever.

       ○     Each of these personas has a different probability of being engaged, and a different probability of doing great work. Builders and Socialisers have the highest likelihood of doing great work, while Coasters have the least. Achievers have a relatively high probability of engagement, but not great work.

       ○     Different types of recognition affect feelings of connection differently for each group. For the often-introverted Tasker, public praise has a negative effect, but eCards and monetary eCards increase connection. For Builders, any form of recognition builds connection. Public appreciation has the most significant impact on the more outgoing Achievers.

●     The formula for creating peak employee experiences starts with meeting three basic needs: autonomy, connection, and mastery.

        ○     When leaders understand employees’ recognition preferences and personalise recognition moments, the odds of higher autonomy satisfaction improve 126% and the chances of higher connection satisfaction jump 145%.

        ○     Leaders who advocate for employee development increase the likelihood of satisfying autonomy needs by 115%, connection needs by 124%, and mastery needs by 131%.

●     Organisations have a 7.5x increased likelihood of improving the employee experience when they meet the needs of employee autonomy, connection and mastery.


This comprehensive report, which serves up actionable data for business leaders seeking change, can be accessed at O.C. Tanner’s website here: https://www.octanner.com/global-culture-report.html.   

About O.C. Tanner

O.C. Tanner is the global leader in software and services that improve workplace culture through meaningful employee experiences. Its Culture Cloud employee recognition platform helps people feel appreciated, do their best work, and want to stay. O.C. Tanner drives positive business results by helping millions of people thrive at work. For more information visit octanner.com.

Research Methodology

The O.C. Tanner Institute uses multiple research methods to support the Global Culture Report, including interviews, focus groups, cross-sectional surveys, and a longitudinal survey.

Qualitative findings came from 16 focus groups and 85 interviews among employees and leaders of larger organizations. Each group represented various types of employers, including both private and public entities.

Quantitative findings came from online survey interviews administered to employees across Argentina, Australia, Brazil, Canada, China, France, Germany, Hong Kong, India, Japan, Mexico, the Netherlands, Philippines, Russia, Saudi Arabia, Singapore, South Africa, South Korea, the United Arab Emirates, the United Kingdom, and the United States. The total sample size is 38,177 workers at companies with 500+ employees.