Kimble Research is Clear: Most People Want to Work for Growing Companies
PUBLISHED: JUNE 2019
Why does business growth matter? This question frequently gets tackled from the vantage point of the C-suite or shareholder, in terms of adding value. It doesn’t get considered as much when thinking about employees. But when Kimble conducted an extensive survey of full-time employees in three regions – the United States, the United Kingdom, and German-speaking countries (DACH) – the answer was clear. Business growth matters because the vast majority of workers want to work for expanding organizations.
Workers in the US are the most focused on organizational growth – 85% said the growth of the company they work for was important to them. Two-thirds say that whether the organization is growing affects their personal happiness. And a quarter have actually left a job because they felt the organization had not expanded.
Most telling, around 7 in 10 respondents in the US survey said they would rather work a 50-hour week for an expanding company over a standard 40-hour week for one that isn’t expected to grow – the highest of the three regions surveyed.
Corporate growth is also a motivator in the German-speaking countries of Germany, Austria and Switzerland. Here, almost two-thirds of survey participants stated that it is important to them that the company in which they work is on a growth course.
However, the Germans, Austrians and Swiss are not quite as obsessed with growth as the U.S. One in five of DACH participants were not interested in the growth of the company they work for while only 8% of Americans said they didn’t care about this factor. And just over a third—39%—would rather work for 40 hours a week at a company that was not expanding, while 35% would prefer 50 hours a week at an expanding one. A quarter (26%) were undecided.
The UK respondents’ answers were closer to the US. Two-thirds said they would rather work a 50-hour week for an expanding company over a standard 40-hour week for one that isn’t expected to grow. Almost two-thirds say that their personal happiness is directly impacted by their organizations rate of growth. Almost a quarter have actually left a job because they felt the organization had not expanded.
UK workers were the most prepared to relocate to be part of a growing business. Almost three-quarters of UK workers would consider moving if it meant joining a growing business. One in five would move anywhere in the world, another third would consider the location before deciding, and another one in ten would move but only within the UK. Fewer than a quarter said they would not consider a move for this reason.
Interestingly, they also placed a lower value on leadership. While almost 40% of US workers said the biggest contributor to company growth was leadership, that option was selected by only 25% of UK workers. British workers ranked leadership behind employee productivity and almost equal with the company’s product.
Doing meaningful work matters to workers in every region surveyed. Most workers care deeply about the kind of work that they do.
Only a third of US workers and around a half of Europeans say the most important reason they work is the paycheck they receive at the end of the month. Around a third globally said the primary reason was related to personal development— either career advancement or to feel fulfilled. And around one in 12 say the reason is to help the organization to grow.
Doing meaningful work means different things to different people. Some see it as work that they feel passionate about while others define it as work that makes the world a better place. But however defined, it is important – almost two in three said they would consider moving to a new job where they see the work as more meaningful. Only around one in ten people would not consider doing this.
In an article on the Kimble Growth Report for HR Daily Advisor, Kimble Co-Founder Mark Robinson wrote:
“The dedication and work ethic this demonstrates is impressive. Personally, I would agree with those who say it’s preferable to work for a growing organization. With more work coming through the door, and new roles being created, there is generally more chance to develop new skills and expertise and to take on a bigger job. There is always a lot going on – and rarely a dull moment.
I have been fortunate to spend most of my career at growing organizations and I am familiar with the feeling that your role and your responsibilities are expanding at the same rate as the organization. This can be challenging of course – it can be pretty nerve-wracking having to step up in a way that takes you out of your comfort zone. And being part of a constantly-expanding team means that change is also constant. A dynamic business is an exciting place to work – but you have to be able to deal with change.”