Getting on well with colleagues gives workers greater job satisfaction than having a good salary, according to new research.
A new study ”New Decade, New Direction”, released by The Institute of Leadership & Management asked more than 2000 workers to identify the factors that affect their job satisfaction and explored their career plans for the new decade.
More than three quarters of “satisfied” workers cited good relationships with colleagues as the most important factor in determining job satisfaction.
Salary was the eighth most important factor in this group after access to training and development, being trusted to take on more responsibility and access to flexible working.
Satisfied workers also considered salary less important than feeling connected to the purpose of the organisation and having a challenging role.
Kate Cooper, Head of Research, Policy and Standards at The Institute of Leadership & Management, said: “This research reveals that it can be the less concrete factors, such as relationships, that can make the difference between someone enjoying their job or not – and potentially wanting to leave.
“At a time when mental health and wellbeing is high on the agenda and rightly being taken more seriously, it’s particularly encouraging to see the majority of people recognising the importance of having good relationships with their colleagues and even giving it a higher priority than factors such as salary.”
The study found that for nearly half of respondents the top two career goals for 2020 were expanding professional knowledge, followed by getting better at leading and managing.
Nearly a third identified the importance of better work-life balance. Training and coaching, which do not necessarily result in a qualification, were also considered important factors for career progression.
Cooper said: “These relationships can help to create a healthier and happier working environment, and a team with higher morale.
“While they may persuade people to hang on in their current roles, pay rises won’t make anyone automatically like their jobs more. So, while pay is really important – particularly if we feel that, compared to others, we’re being inadequately rewarded – it still doesn’t provide us with intrinsic satisfaction with the work that we do.
“To help encourage greater levels of job satisfaction, it’s crucial for business leaders to understand what’s important to their staff, which isn’t always financially driven, as our findings show.”
The findings also revealed that for women who are satisfied in their current role, a short commute and generous annual leave entitlement adds to their satisfaction. Whereas men see challenging work and a positive company culture as more important. This suggests external factors are of greater importance to women than internal organisational ones.
For those dissatisfied workers, almost half of women cited that feeling valued by their manager was an important factor affecting their job contentment. In contrast, male dissatisfaction was mostly affected by their trust in their CEO.