Employees that are liked and in turn like their colleagues are happier and healthier, but only 2.4 per cent would share their concerns with HR.
These are the findings of a study on behalf of SkillsSoft which quizzed over 5,000 staff about the factors that influence their well-being.
Just under half said working with people they like is important whilst 41 per cent said having this reciprocated scores almost as highly. Mutual adoration between colleagues is not the only relationship that scores well – ‘getting on well with the boss’ featured as critical for 34.8 per cent.
Taking time out also ranked highly, 49 per cent referred to flexible working hours as important, with 46 per cent placing sufficient annual leave as a key contributor to well-being.
The value of good relationships with work colleagues was also evident when employees were asked who they would talk to first within their organisation if they were unhappy at work.
Over a third (36.3 per cent) would consult a colleague whilst a further 29.2 per cent would prefer to confide in their direct manager or supervisor. However, only 2.4 per cent would speak to their HR department. Worryingly 17.3 per cent claimed they would stay silent and keep their anxieties to themselves.
When respondents were asked what their organisations could do to help make work a better place, once again interpersonal factors featured highly. Some of the top 10 answers here included: “improve the management skills of my boss”, “cut out the office politics”, and “make work a more fun place to be”.
Commenting on the findings, Kay Baldwin-Evans, director of research at SkillSoft said: “Employees clearly place great store in the quality of their relationships at work alongside work/life balance issues and the flexibility of their working day. Our survey shows that in order to create a contented workforce, organisations need to foster a friendly and supportive working environment; demonstrate to employees that they are valued; and promote a healthy work/life balance by finding ways to allow people more flexibility.”