Rigid workplace cultures are holding employees back




The research identified a clear mismatch between employees’ desire for independence and flexibility, and the reality of their current working environments.

Almost three quarters of UK employees say they would like more freedom at work, with more than a third saying they work in a regulated and controlled structure. When asked how they’d like to change their company culture, the top answer was more freedom and flexibility followed by more innovation and creativity.

“Rigid structures, siloed working and overly complex hierarchies are things of the workplace past,” says John Yates, Group Director at ILM. “People today want to work at flexible, fun and friendly organisations – and those who can deliver on that always have an edge in recruitment. Organisations need to be flexible, allowing employees to pursue career ambitions and manage conflicting home life pressures as much as possible, and encourage creativity – injecting passion and new ideas into the workplace.”

As well as wanting more autonomy, today’s workers are looking for more input in the business.

Two thirds of UK employees want to have a greater say in the business and 64 per cent are seeking a better understanding of where they fit in. Just a quarter say that their managers definitely foster collaboration.

John Yates concludes: “Today’s leading organisations are typically collaborative, encouraging feedback and input at all levels. Rather than decisions being made at the top (the ramifications of which are cascaded amongst workers whether they like it or not), forward thinking organisations are engaging employees at each stage to generate ideas and ensure buy-in from the start. The result is a more passionate and dedicated workforce, that is aligned with the company’s vision and objectives.”