Corporate culture: employees are most motivated in three industries

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There are corporate cultures that lead to employees being motivated and having the feeling of working in an environment of trustworthy, helpful people. And then there are corporate cultures in which exactly the opposite is the case: There is an elbow mentality, superiors do not succeed or only poorly in motivating their team, and everyone slowly but surely loses the desire to work.

Everyone who is looking for a job wants to work in the first type of company. The latter companies, on the other hand, are – logically – unpopular. The challenge now for people looking for work is to distinguish the two types of companies. And that is difficult if you have not yet gained any personal experience with a potential new employer.

Review platforms like Kununu can help with this problem. There, current and former employees anonymously submit their assessments of the respective company. From September 2019 to May 2020 (ex) employees of the companies represented at Kununu were even able to provide information specifically on work culture; as part of the so-called “Kulturkompass”, which the online platform started together with the consulting firm NEO Culture. Almost 30,000 reviews of the working atmosphere in more than 1,200 German, Austrian and Swiss companies were created in this way. And they contain some new insights that could be particularly exciting for those of you who are currently looking for a new job – and are not necessarily limited to a specific industry.

Motivation and collegiality: above average in three industries

“Being enthusiastic about what you do”, “finding your own work meaningful”, “working for your team” or “behaving like a colleague”: Such descriptions sound like a feel-good atmosphere. Kununu and NEO Culture have counted and analyzed the industries from which the companies come to which these ratings were most frequently assigned. One of the results of this analysis: IT, consulting, and internet companies are exceptionally motivated and collegial. The latter means companies that are purely online-based; A Kununu spokesman names PayPal, Lieferando or Kununu himself as examples.

The least motivated employees, on the other hand, work in public administration, according to the reviews. Just under 28 percent of (former) employees in this industry said that they found their job meaningful or that they did it with enthusiasm. Motivation is similarly low in retail and the automotive industry. And: Employees in these industries also often have the feeling that their superiors are “keeping them small” or “controlling them closely”. In the automotive industry, this was just under 18 percent, in retail just under 19.

This unpleasant power imbalance between boss and employees is also felt by fewer people in the “winning” sectors of IT, consulting and Internet – in all three areas the number of those who feel oppressed by their superiors is below average.

Traditional industries have to catch up

This different perception of corporate cultures in the various industries does not only affect the behavior of job seekers; It should also give HR managers in companies something to think about, says Timm Richter, Managing Director of NEO Culture – the company that evaluated the Kununu data sets. “The competition for the best minds is also conducted between the industries,” says Richter. “IT, Internet and consulting have the edge here in the perception of the employees in many cultural issues.” In view of this, traditional sectors such as the automotive industry, trade or public administration would have to work very hard “to continue to get through to the talents to present a credible alternative. “

You have never worked in an IT, Internet or consulting company, but could you imagine a change of industry? If the atmosphere in your job is important to you and you value the constant pursuit of your work with joy and passion, then jumping out of your comfort zone could be worthwhile. Before you decide too hastily to apply to your supposedly dream employer, it is best to do your research thoroughly – and read through as many reviews from (ex) employees as you can find. You will surely come across positive exceptions in all conceivable industries.


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