Survey results: What motivates the TEDxNewYork community at work?

What motivates you? Do you feel like you belong in your company? Do you feel like you can speak up at work, and that your opinion is valued? Does your work inspire you?

  Photo by Dian Lofton

Photo by Dian Lofton

This year at TEDxNewYork we asked our community to tell us honestly how they feel about their work and companies, and what motivates them there. One hundred sixty-five people online and live at the event answered a survey of 22 questions, provided by employee survey experts Culture Amp. The results paint a telling portrait of the curious and active TEDxNewYork community.

So who are you?

75% work full time
7% consultants
7% entrepreneurs/founders
5% freelancers
2% part time workers
1% students

59% female
36% male

You’re generally engaged at work

80% of you are proud to work for your company, and 74% of you are motivated to go beyond what you would in a similar role somewhere else.
....but only 39% of you rarely think about going to work elsewhere.

You feel you can speak up for others at work, with a catch

During TEDxNewYork this year Adam Galinsky shared research that suggests many gender differences are really power differences in disguise. So how do your responses fit in?

80% of you feel comfortable advocating for others at work.

But: When it comes to advocating for your own needs, there’s a considerable division between how males and females respond. While male and female respondents are very close in their answers on most survey questions—about being engaged, having a sense of belonging, and having a sense of purpose—only 67% of females say they are comfortable advocating for their own needs, compared to 85% of males.

Perhaps surprisingly, your responses about feeling like you can advocate for others and for yourself don't have a significant relationship with how engaged you are in your role.

The survey also shows that 69% of females in the community feel their opinions are valued when they speak up, while 82% of males say their opinions are valued. This is important since results indicate that feeling your opinion is valued is one of the top drivers of employee engagement (as are feelings of belonging and purpose).

Age could have something to do with it

Across the board, one age group seems a little more down on their jobs than the rest of the community. People aged 25 to 34—which is also the biggest group represented in the survey, representing nearly 60% of all the people who responded—answered below the average on every single question in the survey, except for one, where they answered the same as the overall average (“I feel safe sharing my ideas at work.”)

In general fewer people in that age group say they feel like they belong in their company, or that their work inspires them, than people younger than 25 or older than 34.

What are the words that you associate with your company's culture?