Employees want to work for an organisation that has a ‘family feel’ and is ‘held together by loyalty and tradition’ according to CIPD, the professional body for HR and people development.

The latest Employee Outlook 2015 survey reveals a mismatch in the way employees view their company culture compared to what they would like the company culture to be like.

Nearly 50 percent of the 2,226 employees surveyed described the culture of their organisation as ‘a formalised and structured place to work, where procedures govern what people do and hold people together.’ This was highest in the public sector (74%), the voluntary sector (43%) and in large organisations with over 250 employees (59%).

In contrast, just a quarter (26%) of employees describe their current organisation as having a ‘family feel’. When asked what they would prefer their working environment to be, 55 percent of respondents specified they would prefer to work in an organisation ‘with a family feel, held together by loyalty and tradition’. This was higher for women (60%) than men (50%) but a consistent choice across all age groups.

The survey also revealed employee engagement to be at an all-time high, rising from 35 percent in 2013 to 38 percent in 2014 and to 39 percent in 2015. Only 3 percent of employees claimed to be disengaged, a small decrease of 1 percent from the previous year. However, the majority of people (59%) considered their engagement as neutral.

Jessica Cooper, research adviser at the CIPD, comments:

“This is a defining moment for businesses. After the uncertainty of the recession, we’ve now reached a point of stability which is seeing improved engagement from employees. However, far too many people are still sitting in the ‘neutral’ camp.

“Now is the time for businesses to engage with their talent to understand how they can reinforce and evolve their organisational culture moving forward. And the direction of travel is clear: employees want to work somewhere with a ‘family feel’, where they can really feel like they are part of something. Culture is one of the few things that can define a business and if organisations can get it right, it will give them a competitive edge and a strong foundation for business growth.

“Culture can’t change overnight, but organisations can start to think about ways in which they can make changes to better suit their talent’s preferences. Equally, employees should consider culture when moving jobs in order to have a more satisfying role.”