Recent allegations of harassment and scandal have placed Activision Blizzard, the video game developer of popular games such as Call of Duty, Candy Crush, Overwatch, Warcraft, Hearthstone, and Diablo, in the hot seat. Many believe this scandal signifies a greater movement within corporations across the United States – that employees expect and deserve more from their employers. Companies like Activision Blizzard are leading the way in change.
The Activision Blizzard Walkout
Filing a lawsuit against Activision Blizzard spurred a movement. Now, over 500 current and former employees have signed a letter attesting to the company’s mishandling of sexual misconduct in the workplace. They called for more accountability to combat “a widespread and deeply ingrained culture of abusive behavior” within the games industry. This uproar led to a very public walkout in which hundreds across the gaming industry peacefully protested, making headlines.
In an open letter shared with Axios, protesters stated, “It should no longer be a surprise to anyone: employees, executives, journalists, or fans that these heinous acts are going on. It is time to stop being shocked. We must demand real steps be taken to prevent them. Those responsible must be held accountable for their actions.”
Surprisingly, this is not the first time the gaming industry has faced scandal and accusations of a toxic work environment. In June of 2020, Ubisoft, another major video game developer (known for games such as Assasin’s Creed), forced many of their executives, including then Vice President Maxime Beland, to resign. Beland faced allegations of workplace abuse including evidence of verbal and physical abuse of employees.
The Workplace is Changing – Workers Expect More
According to a recent study, 56% of workers value a healthy workplace atmosphere over higher pay! Workplace dynamics are changing and quickly, not just in the gaming industry. Not only do employees value workplace culture, they also value their own emotional state – 69 percent of employees say they’d work harder if they were better appreciated in the workplace, according to Hubspot.
In a study performed by Glassdoor in 2019, workers’ attitudes are also shifting considerably. When considering a new job, a majority consider the organization’s values, with 73 percent of the respondents saying they would not apply to a company unless their values aligned.
The days of cutthroat, competitive, and sexist corporate cultures are dying. Instead, supportive work environments are taking the lead. According to the Harvard Business Review, a supportive workplace boosts worker productivity and creates conditions for business growth!
Companies Are Leading the Way in Change
For a long time, Scandinavian countries were ahead of the curve and pioneered the path for high employee satisfaction rates. Denmark has retained first place for years in high employee satisfaction rates, deemed the “happiest place to work” in the world. In a survey by InterNations, Danes have the shortest work weeks of all the countries surveyed. Workplaces also provide childcare for children up to the age of six and allot parents 52 weeks of paid maternity leave.
Now, it seems corporate America is slowly awakening to the truth, too. To ensure success, employees must feel comfortable and supported and receive fair pay, good benefits, equal opportunity, and pay equity.
Companies like Salesforce have picked up the slack now offering impressive employee benefits and a healthy workplace environment. Salesforce, in particular, stands out for its free childcare services for employees, educational reimbursement, and commitment to providing career advancement, life skills development, and further educational opportunities.
It is evident that Paypal also comes in at the top as one of the best companies to work for. They offer enhanced health care and leave benefits including parental bonding leave at 100% of their base pay! If you’d like to take a look at other companies and what they are doing to better their workplace environments, click here.
This is also a priority at Elevare. As a small but mighty agency, Elevare’s culture is about supporting personal and professional growth, open communication, leading with integrity, transparency and inclusivity. Our team members provide daily and weekly feedback and insight to leadership which helps to continuously improve the company’s culture and vision.
What This Means For Your Business
It’s clear that while you may not have the budget for all-expense-paid employee functions or extensive continuing education programs, you do have the budget for investing more into those on your team. To ensure your company’s future success, you must build a healthy work culture.
Do your employees feel heard? Are there clear channels of communication? Are you meeting their needs within the office?
These are just a few questions you should be asking yourself as a business owner or as a manager. The times are changing, and as a business owner, it is your responsibility to keep up with them.
It is evident that the work and life balance matters to employees. This is one of the top factors that drive employee satisfaction is feeling valued and part of a healthy community. To increase satisfaction, your company needs to prioritize building strong company culture and value systems.
Leadership should offer clean and exciting opportunities for all employees and ensure that your employees have adequate support, training, and resources to perform their job well!
Another thing to consider is the physical atmosphere of your organization. Mood plays a role in productivity and, workplace conditions can impact that. Thus, your workplace conditions must include adequate, lightning comfortable temperatures and maybe a few perks like snacks or drinks to keep up morale.
A Better Culture Equals Employee Happiness
The bottom line is employees deserve respect. A positive work culture is a must for success.
As a result, even if you are not a gaming company, the Activision Blizzard walkout should serve as a reminder. As a manager or business owner, it’s important to invest in your team and build a healthy work culture. If your employees thrive – your business with thrive, too. Work with your team to develop a healthy culture from inside out.