Editor’s note: Darcy Jacobsen is a content analyst and blogger for social recognition solutions provider Globoforce, Southborough, Mass. This is an edited version of report titled, “Globoforce survey finds peer relationships with colleagues are critical to modern work experience.”
Co-workers have a big impact on the experience of working for a company; yet how strong that impact is had never been explored in-depth until now. Globofoce’s fall workforce mood tracker survey proves how important relationships are to our overall happiness and commitment at work.
U.S. workers say that peer relationships are critical to job happiness, commitment and creating more memorable milestone experiences.
The fall 2014 Globoforce workforce mood tracker* examines the current attitudes and perspectives of U.S. employees about work friendships and how those peer relationships and peer recognition impact the work anniversary experience. The report’s key findings reveal how vital work relationships are and how companies can leverage this camaraderie to improve years of service awards, boost employee commitment and engagement and improve their bottom line.
Relationships are critical to the modern work experience and increase employee commitment
U.S. employees say work friends have become central to engagement, happiness and the quality of employees’ lives:
- eighty-nine percent of survey respondents say that work relationships are important to their quality of life and 93 percent value the respect of work friends or colleagues;
- sixty-four percent of employees with between six to 25 co-worker friends love their companies, compared to only 24 percent who don’t have friends at work; and
- forty-eight percent of employees with between six to 25 friends are highly engaged, compared to 28 percent with no friends at work.
Years of service awards that include co-worker participation, emotion, and recognition yield more powerful results
As opposed to receiving a “congratulations” solely from a manager, the impact of the anniversary experience increases exponentially when peers, emotion, and recognition are involved:
- U.S. employees surveyed are 28 percent more likely to feel appreciated if they work in companies where co-workers are included in their anniversary celebration and 44 percent more likely to identify themselves as highly engaged;
- respondents are more than five times more likely to find the experience emotionally moving when peers and recognition are involved in the service anniversary experience
- ninety-five percent found an anniversary with emotion and recognition to be a positive; and experience, and were three times more likely to say it made them feel more valued
Traditional anniversary celebrations paint a bleak picture; employees yearn for a more shareable and meaningful milestone experience
Being given a gold watch or lapel pin for an anniversary can negatively impact employee sentiments, as employees find little connection to this type of celebration:
- fifty-nine percent of surveyed employees say traditional anniversaries change nothing at all when it comes to feelings about their company;
- forty-five percent of respondents prefer anniversary celebrations that include shared memories and congratulations from co-workers and managers (more than twice as many as any other choice); and
- sixty-five percent say shared memories and stories from co-workers would make their anniversary more meaningful, while 72 percent would prefer recognition of career accomplishments.
“Our Fall Workforce Mood Tracker survey proves how important relationships are to our overall happiness and commitment at work,” said Eric Mosley, CEO of Globoforce. “The current workforce is one that thrives on positive emotion. With new social technologies at the forefront, HR leaders have an opportunity to transform how employees get the emotional validation they seek for their work and tenure with a company.”
* The globoforce workforce mood tracker study was commissioned by Globoforce and conducted from August 13 to 18, 2014 by independent market research firm MarketTools, Inc., through an online panel of fully employed persons (age 18 or older) at companies with 500+ employees in the United States. There were 716 responses generated for the survey, resulting in a margin of error of +/- 3.9 percentage points at a 95 percent level of confidence.