We all know that culture is an extremely important characteristic of any organization. A good company culture can attract great employees and customers while a bad company culture can repel them.

Today, job and recruiting site Glassdoor announced the results of its 2019 Mission and Culture Survey which answers the question: What makes employees around the world satisfied at work? As it turns out, the answer to that question is somewhat surprising.

Glassdoor found that the top-3 leading workplace drivers of employee satisfaction are:

1. Culture and values

3. Career opportunities

Says Christian Sutherland-Wong, Glassdoor President and COO,

Having a compelling mission, culture and values are critical when it comes to attracting and retaining top talent in a competitive job market--it is what differentiates each and every employer. Across the countries we surveyed, it's clear that job seekers are seeking more meaningful workplace experiences. Job seekers want to be paid fairly but they too want to work for a company whose values align with their own and whose mission they can fully get behind.

Glassdoor's survey reveals a number of important insights:

  • Over half (58 percent) of employees and job seekers say company culture is more important than salary when it comes to job satisfaction.
  • 70 percent of employees and job seekers would not apply to a company unless its values align with their own personal values.
  • Nearly 4 in 5 employees and job seekers would consider a company's mission (80 percent) and culture (77 percent) before applying for a job there.
  • 3 in 5 employees and job seekers (64 percent) say company culture is one of the main reasons to stay at a job.
  • 65 percent of 18 to 34-year-olds (Gen Z + Millennials) are likely to place culture above salary; that's higher than any other age demographic surveyed.

The message from Glassdoor's survey is loud and clear: Culture counts--more than most of us imagined. As a result, it's in every organization's interest to create a positive culture that makes people feel good instead of a negative culture that turns people off.

In partnership with the MIT Sloan School of Management, Glassdoor has determined the Big Nine values that drive great company cultures:

Agility: Agile companies are nimble, flexible and quick to seize an opportunity.

Collaboration: When companies exercise this value, their employees are cohesive and productive, within their group and across teams.

Customer: The customers' needs are central, for businesses that radiate this value. The company prides itself on listening to customers and creating value for them.

Diversity: Bring yourself, because there's a place for everyone in these inclusive cultures.

Execution: Companies implement this value by fostering behaviors like taking personal accountability for results, delivering on commitments, prioritizing the activities that matter most, and adhering to process discipline.

Innovation: Companies that value and fuel creativity and experimentation and are eager to implement new ideas exhibit this value.

Integrity: Staff members across the board, from entry-level professionals to company leaders, maintain a code of honesty and ethics that consistently inform their actions.

Performance: The company recognizes performance and rewards results through compensation, recognition and promotion, and it handles underperforming employees tactfully and strategically.

Respect: Employees, managers and leaders exercise consideration and courtesy for each other. They treat one another with dignity, and they take one another's perspectives seriously.

As author Simon Sinek once pointed out, "Customers will never love a company until the employees love it first." What are you doing to ensure that your employees love their company?