by Alex Palmer | January 03, 2014
While managers are vital for an employee’s success and sense of place in an organization, a new study finds that co-workers play a more important role in ensuring a worker’s happiness at her job. An expansive new study from employee engagement company, TINYpulse, examines a range of trends in the workplace as workers head into 2014. Prominent among their findings is that employee happiness is 23.3 percent more correlated to connections with co-workers than with direct supervisors. 

The “TINYpulse Engagement Survey,” which drew on more than 40,000 responses from workers at more than 300 companies worldwide, found there was a correlation coefficient of 0.92 between employees’ happiness and their relationships with co-workers. The correlation between workers’ happiness and relationships to direct managers was just 0.74.

When employees were asked “What do you love about your job?” their overwhelming responses were their immediate team and colleagues. This was followed by “Freedom/Responsibility,” “Culture/Atmosphere,” “Variety/Learning,” and “Challenges” rounding out the top five.

As for what workers are looking for in their fellow team members, “collaboration and communication” were cited as the top factors in assessing co-workers, with 44.3 percent of respondents pointing to it. This was followed by “knowledge skills and talent” (with 26.4 percent) and “positive attitude” (24.5 percent), with “fun” squeaking in with just 4.8 percent of the vote.

“This provides a blueprint for smart human resources and executive teams to screen and hire for these traits to create a group of high performers that attract and retain other high performers,” writes the report’s authors.

TINYpulse’s study found plenty of room for improvement when it comes to peer-to-peer recognition. Just 36 percent of respondents said that they provided recognition to a fellow worker for a job well done. 

“Implementing a lightweight and regular system to facilitate the giving of recognition significantly is a must have for any organization that wants to up-level their internal morale and culture,” write the authors.

For the full results of the study, including case studies, click here.