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Recent data reveals a gap between employers and employees when it comes to the question, "has company culture improved since the pandemic?"


No one can deny that there has been a dramatic and dynamic shift when it comes to workplace culture. The pandemic forced employers to make some difficult decisions on how they conducted business; some that were able allowed more flexibility with work from home policies and offered extended benefits to employees who had to continue to work in difficult and challenging environments.

“In the past year, we saw major shifts in organizational structures as employers sought to accommodate and support employees who were suddenly working in remote, hybrid or vastly different in-person environments,” said Johnny C. Taylor Jr., president and CEO of SHRM. “The pandemic has certainly changed where and how we work, leaving it up to business leaders and HR professionals to create more seamless threads of positive culture that boost employee satisfaction and productivity.”

This all sounds like employers adapted and changed for the better, right? Unfortunately, employees and HR professionals are still skeptical about whether that’s actually true.

There's still a gap when it comes to how employees see company culture changing post-pandemic.


And to be honest, we aren't even close to being "post-pandemic," as many organizations are delaying re-opening plans and extending work-from-home policies with the rise and spread of the delta variant.

This wishy-washy approach could be costing employers when it comes to promoting positive company culture with employees.

In fact, the gap can be seen in recent survey results from SHRM showing that 72% of executives (vice president and above) believe their overall organizational culture has improved since the beginning of the pandemic. But far fewer HR professionals (21%) and workers (14%) agree.

HR professionals and other employees indicate ineffective communication, altered workloads, and voluntary turnover as primary reasons for negative changes in workplace culture during the pandemic.

Leadership is key to building a lasting company culture that employees appreciate.


Communicating and disseminating culture must come from the top. However, leaders still need training on how to best communicate policies and mission statements to their teams. And that might be lacking in today's workplaces. According to SHRM:

  • More than one-third of working Americans indicate that their manager does not know how to lead a team, and 26% of people managers say their workplace doesn’t provide leadership training.
  • More than half of employees who have left a job in the past five years because of workplace culture say it was because of a relationship with their manager.
  • Only 22% of workers say they stayed at a job because of their relationship with their manager.

The data is clear. Leadership matters when it comes to company culture, and if leaders are not empowered or do not have the tools to communicate the benefits, policies, and any other elements that make up company culture, then there will be a disconnect.

For more information on how empathy could help close the culture gap, check out our white paper below.

CEO as chief empathy officer

View all Posts by Marcy Klipfel