Are your employees proud to work for your company?

Beyond shares research into the workforce of high-growth companies and reveals a new hierarchy of needs for engaged and productive employees

September 20, 2021
1 min read
1 min read
September 20, 2021

How do you maintain productivity during a global crisis? Is it impossible to think of growth when headlines predict downturns across the board? The changes in office culture over the past 18 months have been profound, rapid and unexpected, but some savvy disruptors have maintained their edge despite repeated challenges.

From Google to Mailchimp and Just Eat, our team at Beyond has worked with some of the world’s most esteemed, rapidly growing brands -- and has seen firsthand the value that employees play in producing exceptional results. We recently partnered with market research experts, Savanta, to further investigate the most critical ingredients  of high-growth companies, employee motivation, and how this can be both good for people and good for business.

What we discovered is that a proud employee is a productive employee. This discovery opens up a significant opportunity for businesses looking to gain a competitive edge coming out of the pandemic. It also identifies an evolved hierarchy of needs for the post-pandemic workplace.

More than four fifths - 83% - of employees who feel pride in the work they do and the organization they work for, say they regularly go above and beyond in their role. On the Flipside, more than half - 59% - of those who don’t experience this pride say they’d look at  moving to a similar role elsewhere within a year. What’s more, 75% of employees in high-growth environments say they would work harder if they felt pride in their output.

“Conventional wisdom may have pointed to employee engagement, but pride goes a step further by incorporating an employee’s connection to the mission, purpose and impact of the organization,” explains Matt Basford of Beyond, the technology agency which commissioned the study from Savanta in May 2021. More than 2,000 employees across the US and UK in office and professional roles answered questions about their attitudes towards work and their employers, revealing these strong connections between pride and business outcomes.

What is pride?

Psychologists define pride as a “positive emotional response or attitude to something with an intimate connection to oneself, due to its perceived value”. In the context of work, pride can be viewed as a meaningful connection to the individual’s output and to their colleagues and the company overall, ultimately contributing to a positive sense of self.

“Understanding company vision, values and strong leadership are the strongest drivers of pride,” says Basford. “Pride is also highly correlated in perceived importance of one’s own work, and the connection with the teams they work with. Leaders must take a holistic lens to cultivate pride across their organization.”

New hierarchy of needs for the workplace

Pride isn’t something you can order in and install in your workplace overnight. In order to foster pride, a set of needs must first be satisfied and built upon, to validate, and develop, the age-old “hierarchy of needs”. This is particularly true for Millennial and Gen-Z employees.

a triangular hierarchy diagram, segmented into four colored levels against a white background. At the base is a yellow segment labeled "Support & Recognition," highlighting psychological safety, respect, suitable remote or hybrid work conditions, and clear work-life boundaries. Above this, in green, is "Fairness & Equity," emphasizing fair and equitable pay and benefits. The next level, in blue, is "Meaning & Growth," which is described by continuous learning and participation in high-performing teams. At the apex, in purple, is "Pride," connected to values and impact. The title at the bottom reads "Hierarchy of needs in the workplace."