The High Value of Building Pride in the Workplace

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Workplace pride is about more than just feeling good. It’s an essential factor in employee engagement – ­­­­and one that’s all too often ­­neglected.

When it’s present at work, it inspires individuals and teams to achieve more, communicate better, and build upon each other’s strengths. When it’s not present, things can get ugly. Really ugly. And what is “it”? It’s the often abstract yet extremely powerful feeling of “pride.” 

Pride is deeply personal, and yet it also acts as a sort of currency in relationships; if you care for and trust the people you work with, you’re naturally inclined to go the extra mile. Whereas if you don’t have pride in your company or colleagues, things fall apart fast. 

What is workplace pride?

At its most basic, workplace pride is exactly what it sounds like: being proud of where you work. When employees have pride in their workplace, they believe in the company – not just what it produces, but how it operates, how it treats its people, and how it engages with the community at large.

However, too many workplaces fail to recognize that pride can’t just be created from a well-crafted mission statement. Pride is cumulative. It doesn’t come from just one thing, but rather from a series of actions and events that are reinforced over time.

For example, say you run a clothing company that preaches sustainable production and sourcing practices. But other parts of the business are at odds with that mission. Maybe employees are pushed to unsustainable levels, or the office is stocked with plastic-wrapped snacks. These types of things will undermine any sense of pride.

The 3 levels of workplace pride

What makes employees proud of their company?

Just as pride comes from cumulative efforts, pride itself lives in layers. Workplace pride happens at three levels:

  • Your job – e.g., you take pride in the work itself.
  • Your team – e.g., you are proud to work with the people around you.
  • Your company – e.g., you are proud of the company’s mission and reputation.

Real examples of employees who feel workplace pride

Take this employee story from Ms Laksana Pakthin, Country Manager at Dimerco Express, Thailand. She is especially proud of the team she works with and as a country manager, takes pride in building a high-trust workplace culture: “Being a leader is important and we always set the first examples. I try to show my colleagues that when we are faced with a problem, even though it may be challenging, it can be enjoyable working together to find solutions. I give them my trust and confidence that I will stand by them along the way. My motto is: if you want to go fast, go alone. If you want to go far, go together.”

The company has several initiatives it takes to build a positive workplace culture. They are: to communicate with team members and allow them to express their opinions without any distinction of positions; to encourage team members to help each other find solutions when a problem occurs at work, and to appreciate team members’ achievements so that they are encouraged and supported in their jobs for continued success.

Another real-life example, from Certified™ workplace Luxoft Singapore is Ms Katernya Maksymenko, a recruitment business partner who relocated to Singapore from Ukraine in 2018. For someone who had not been to Asia prior to her move, she shared: “Even though I had to change continent and climate zone, I managed to adjust to Singapore’s environment quite fast. Luxoft arranged an intracompany transfer from one location to another for me and I had a “like home” feeling since day 1.” Her colleagues from the HR team assisted with all the necessary onboarding formalities, from opening a bank account to suggesting ‘tips and tricks’ with regards to housing in Singapore. She was integrated to a new team through multiple events and activities with colleagues from different departments.

Why is workplace pride important?

Pride is more than just a feel-good thing. It creates a stronger, better, more engaged workforce. In fact, Great Place to Work® research has found that when employees feel proud to work at a company, they are:

  • 6 times more likely to endorse their workplace to others
  • 2 times more likely to want to stay with the company for a long time
  • 1 times more likely to say it’s a great place to work

There are plenty of ways that workplaces can foster pride and great relationships, from collaborative lunches to career-development training pathways to sharing real examples of how employees’ work is impacting clients and the community. 

Most importantly, the best workplaces set the stage for building employee pride via trust with clear expectations and two-way communication. 

As I mentioned earlier, pride is cumulative, so there’s no single recipe that will ensure each and every one of your employees beam with pride. But when you put in the effort to create a culture of trust, you’re taking a step in the right direction. 

How does your workplace pride stack up against the competition?

Measure workplace pride with our employee experience survey and learn how Great Place to Work Certification can help you attract – and keep – top talent.

Claire Hastwell

Claire is our Content Marketing Manager. Claire works with Great Place to Work data and company culture experts to distil the psychology of high-trust workplaces. Claire co-authored the Women in the Workplace report and her profiles of Best Workplaces™ have featured in Fortune. When Claire’s not sifting through our 28+ years of survey data, she’s rolling out her yoga mat or daydreaming about her next U.S. road trip.

Daphne Lee

Daphne believes in building community-relatable content, telling stories through narratives that add value in today’s workplace and in culture-building. Her idea of a great workplace is one that thrives on openness, support and inclusivity while building trust and working towards a common business growth and purpose. A journalist, she spent 15 years writing for trade publications, lifestyle magazines and broadsheet supplements. Daphne was also active in the Parent Support Group of her daughters’ school, chairing the volunteer-run committee for 3 years. A mum of two teenagers and two adopted dogs, she enjoys riding on her trusty bicycle to discover new sights and sounds in Singapore.

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To be eligible for the World’s Best Workplaces list, a company must apply and be named to a minimum of 5 national Best Workplaces lists within our current 58 countries, have 5,000 employees or more worldwide, and at least 40% of the company’s workforce (or 5,000 employees) must be based outside of the home country. Extra points are given based on the number of countries where a company surveys employees with the Great Place to Work Trust Index©, and the percentage of a company’s workforce represented by all Great Place to Work surveys globally. Candidates for the 2017 Worlds Best Workplaces list will have appeared on national workplaces lists published in September 2016 through August 2017.