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Staff relationships with each other ‘key to workforce happiness’

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Employees’ happiness is linked more closely to their relationship with other colleagues than it is of that with their manager, according to new research.

A study carried out by TINYpulse surveyed over 40,000 workers spread across 300 organisations to gauge attitudes towards what motivates them and how they can best be engaged by their employer.

One key demand by staff that the research highlighted was the need for transparency in the top echelons of a company, with only 42 per cent of respondents able to explain what their business’ values, mission and vision were.

TINYpulse founder David Niu said: “The cost of improving transparency is almost zero, and we are seeing an increasing number of organisations using transparency as an advantage when attracting and retaining top talent.”

He also pointed out how the assumption that worker happiness was driven by the behaviour of managers and how they interacted with staff was, in fact, a misguided one.

“As the workplace becomes more cross-matrixed, collaborative and ‘bottom-up’, the importance of colleague relationships continues to grow,” Mr Niu noted.

The survey found that employee job satisfaction levels were over 23 per cent more correlated to interactions and relationships with co-workers than it was with direct managers.

On this basis, the research suggests that companies would be well-advised to place a larger emphasis on the social side of things within shared or serviced offices to get the best out of their workforce.

Another direct piece of guidance to come out of the study was that companies would benefit from promoting employee suggestions within the business. It found that nearly one in five responses included thoughts on how something could be made better – and said that that organisations that did not adopt some sort of policy to encourage this sort of interaction would be left at an “innovative disadvantage”.