Globoforce survey of UK and Irish employees reveals work friendships increase job satisfaction


Globoforce, a leading provider of social recognition solutions, has announced the results of its 2014 UK and Ireland Workforce Mood Tracker. The survey found that 83 percent of UK and Irish employees believe their work relationships are important to their quality of life, yet almost half (45 percent) have no colleagues they consider to be real friends. The research also revealed that 33 percent of survey respondents do not think their company culture allows them to easily build lasting relationships with co-workers, despite 43 percent of them spending between 31 and 50 hours per week with colleagues.

This year’s survey of 1,200 employees across the UK and Ireland revealed that organisations that encourage and foster friendships among their workforce will benefit from higher employee retention rates. Almost a quarter (24 percent) of those with friends at work say they intend to stay with their current company for as long as possible, compared with just 16 percent of those without friends at work. Additional findings from the survey include:

Despite often being overlooked, service anniversaries may present an opportunity to highlight these relationships. According to the research, 65 percent of UK and Irish employees say they would feel good if their colleagues acknowledged their first year anniversary at their company, while 17 percent say shared memories and kind words from co-workers would be the most meaningful way to celebrate their one-year milestone. However, while 67 percent would like the opportunity to congratulate or share stories and memories on their colleagues’ anniversaries, 62 percent of organisations have no programme in place to acknowledge such events.

“This year’s survey shows that organisations would benefit greatly from celebrating their employees’ dedication to the company, as well as the strong bonds people form while at work,” said Derek Irvine, vice president of customer consulting and strategy at Globoforce. “While many may claim that they do not have friends at work, perhaps if they were given the opportunity to see the impact they have made on their colleagues, their opinion would differ.”

The UK and Ireland Workforce Mood Tracker also revealed the impact that recognition has on employees. Eighty-six percent would work harder if their efforts were better recognised and appreciated and, while 61 percent feel they are appreciated, 43 percent are not satisfied with the level of recognition they receive. Despite this, satisfaction does appear to be increasing in the UK, with a 17 percentage point rise in the number of people who say they are satisfied, when compared to last year’s survey.

“Adding a social element to recognition encourages interaction and friendships amongst colleagues. It deepens friendships, bonds people together, and provides the foundations for building trust and stronger relationships,” said Irvine. “The end result is increased engagement and a stronger company culture.”

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