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Why managers are a company’s secret weapon in driving culture

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Managers are powerful agents for driving strong corporate culture in Hong Kong and Asia Pacific (APAC), according to PERSOLKELLY’s latest APAC Workforce Insights report. According to the data, 61% of Hong Kong respondents compared to 57% in APAC agreed that workers favour their manager’s personal values over the broader values of their organisation when choosing whether to stay or seek opportunities elsewhere.

Teams whose values matched that of their manager would see increased employee satisfaction and productivity; however, there is a risk of workers disengaging if their manager does not share the corporate values and leaves the team, cited 40% of Hong Kong respondents.

According to the Hong Kong respondents, a manager’s values have a stronger influence over the company’s is generally agreed to be true across all workgroups, from permanent (63%), contract (63%) to temporary (61%) staff.

From permanent staff’s perspective, a manager’s values feel more tangible and real (44%), and a staff’s personal circumstances are often recognised when in line with their manager’s (42%).

On the other hand, contract workers (48%) and temporary workers (46%) believed team cultural fit and the yearning for a sense of belonging are the key reasons why manager’s values are emphasised more than the company’s.

“In Hong Kong, unless your company has a very strong employer brand or your salary package is among the most attractive in the industry, it is important for your company to offer a reputable company culture and possess sound values – not only for retention of your existing staff but also your future talent acquisition,” said Alan Wong, Managing Director of Kelly Services Hong Kong in a statement.

“Yet often, how company values are perceived by your staff have nothing to do with what’s on paper. Instead, the company’s value is heavily dependent on your staff’s experience of the company. Given the close working relationship of managers with their staff, a manager’s beliefs and behaviours are often perceived as a reflection of the organisational strategy and values.”

From an APAC perspective, among the 57%  of APAC respondents who valued manager’s values over company’s, there was a large variance in levels of agreement across the region. 62% of respondents from Malaysia, 61% from Hong Kong and Singapore agreed that workers are likely to base their decision-making on their manager’s values.

Workers in the banking and financial services, legal, and high tech/IT industries placed the greatest emphasis on the values of its managers, with more than 60% in agreement.

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