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How Do Company Culture and Leadership Impact the Employee Experience?

The last few years have seen employers of all sizes place a greater emphasis on improving the employee experience. This important workplace trend directly impacts recruiting and retention, two areas where employers continue to struggle.

And two areas that have shown to play vital roles in the employee experience are company culture and leadership.

A new survey from O.C. Tanner explored the relationship around workplace culture, leadership, and the employee experience and uncovered data that shows the value these can have for both current and future employees.


O.C. Tanner’s 2020 Global Culture Report was taken by more than 20,000 employees and showed that despite the positive work employers are making to improve workplace cultures and the employee experience, there is still work that needs to be done.

59% of workers said that they would accept a new job if offered the same role, pay, and benefits as their current role.

This could be a result of increasing burnout, with 79% of employees saying they’ve experienced burnout at work. Awareness of workplace burnout has never been greater, with it becoming a recognized medical condition in 2019.

Employers must continue to take measures to help their employees better prevent burnout to not only improve wellness but also lower retention and improve the employee experience.


Employees today are putting more value into the experiences they have at work – from the day their recruiting process starts all the way to their last day with an employer. In fact, 92% describe the employee experience as their everyday work experience.

But despite this, just 66% of employees feel the employee experience matters to their employer.

Even more concerning, only 42% said their employee experience is positive or extremely positive, showing just how much room for improvement there is for employers.

As you might expect, company culture plays a significant role in the employee experience. In organizations with a poor culture, just 43% of employees are satisfied with their employee experience. However, at companies with a thriving culture, 87% say they are satisfied.

Take a look at these additional statistics that show just how valuable a great company culture with a positive employee experience can be:

  • 6 times more likely to have a positive NPS
  • 8 times more likely to see great work
  • 13 times more likely to have highly engaged employees
  • 3 times less likely to have layoffs
  • 2 times more likely to increase revenue
  • 3 times less likely to have moderate-to-severe cases of employee burnout
  • 7 times more likely to have innovative employees


The next part of the survey shows the impact leadership can have on employees and the business. One thing shown was that traditional leadership strategies do not work as well as more modern approaches.

For example, when looking at the employee experience, there is a significant difference between traditional leadership (-43%) and modern leadership (+55%) tactics. This is extremely important for employers and business leaders to keep in mind.

It’s also important for leaders to connect their workers to the organization, goals, and team members:

  • 250% greater odds an employee with be a promotor of the business
  • 405% greater odds an employee will have a great employee experience
  • 845% greater odds an employee will be engaged
  • 1,674% greater odds an employee will have a strong positive perception of leadership
  • 56% reduction in employee burnout


Whether you’re a leader at a Fortune-500 employer or small business, the importance of employee experience cannot be overlooked. The role it plays in retention and recruiting is only growing and shows no signs of slowing down.

Small business owners must keep this in mind when looking at ways to improve their talent management strategy in 2020 and beyond.

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