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Over a Quarter of U.K. Employees Feel Like Outsiders at Work

Over a Quarter of U.K. Employees Feel Like Outsiders at Work

Just half of employees think their leaders are prioritising ‘workplace community’

More than a quarter of U.K employees (27 per cent) feel like outsiders at work with a third (34 per cent) not considering their workplace to be a ‘community’. This is despite the majority of U.K. employees (65 per cent) wanting to feel a strong sense of belonging at work. These are the findings from O.C. Tanner’s 2023 Global Culture Report which collected and analysed the perspectives of over 36,000 employees, leaders, HR practitioners, and business executives from 20 countries around the world, including 4,653 from the U.K.

According to the report, there are eight key factors that provide a workplace with a strong sense of community, including shared goals, commitment, communication, feedback, camaraderie, trust, adaptation and unity. Of these, U.K. employees ranked camaraderie/ relationship with team members as the most important aspect for nurturing belonging (cited by 73 per cent of respondents).

“Thriving cultures have a strong sense of community that brings and holds employees together” says Georgia Portwain, Culture and Engagement Strategist from workplace culture expert O.C. Tanner. “Employees who feel that they belong will stay at the company for longer, will be more resilient to change and are more likely to deliver great work.”

The findings reveal that organisations that score high on the ‘community index’ are 100 per cent more likely to have employees that produce aspirational levels of great work, with a 58 per cent lower probability of their employees actively looking for another job.

Despite such compelling reasons to build a workplace community, just 52 per cent of U.K. employees believe that creating a community is a priority for their organisational leaders.

Portwain adds, “Leaders need to recognise that having a strong and sustaining workplace community is the foundation of organisational success, and so they must find ways to bring their people together and create an environment of trust, unity and appreciation.”


Notes to Editor

About O.C. Tanner’s 2023 Global Culture Report

The O.C. Tanner Institute collected and analysed the perspectives of over 36,000 employees, leaders, HR practitioners, and business executives from 20 countries around the world. The results demonstrate that employees crave community, leaders require urgent attention, personal fulfilment is a new benchmark, generalists provide exactly what organisations need now (if allowed), and symbols can increase the power of recognition dramatically.

The O.C. Tanner Institute uses multiple research methods to support the Global Culture Report, including interviews, focus groups, cross-sectional surveys, and a longitudinal survey.

Qualitative findings came from 10 focus groups and 81 interviews among employees and leaders of larger organisations. The groups and interviews were held throughout 2021 and 2022, each representing various types of employers, including both private and public entities.

Quantitative findings came from online survey interviews administered to employees across Argentina, Australia, Brazil, Canada, China, France, Germany, India, Japan, Mexico, the Netherlands, the Philippines, Saudi Arabia, Singapore, South Africa, South Korea, the United Arab Emirates, the United Kingdom, and the United States. The total sample size was 36,441 workers at companies with 500+ employees. The O.C. Tanner Institute collected and analysed all survey data. This sample is sufficient to generate meaningful conclusions about the cultures of organisations in the included countries. However, because the study does not include population data, results are subject to statistical errors customarily associated with sample-based information.

About O.C. Tanner

O.C. Tanner is the global leader in software and services that improve workplace culture through meaningful employee experiences. Its Culture Cloud is a suite of apps and solutions, including recognition, service awards, wellbeing, leadership, and celebrations that help people thrive at work. O.C. Tanner provides these and other services for thousands of the most respected companies in the world. For more information visit


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