Majority of employees believe their company is a good place to work, study finds

‘Friendly people’ cited as top reason by two in five, with experts highlighting that employers should not underestimate the importance of relationships between colleagues

Credit: Virojt Changyencham/Getty Images

Most people can name at least three positive aspects that make the company that employs them a good place to work, with ‘friendly people’ topping the list, analysis has found.

New research by Ciphr showed that the majority (85 per cent) of the 1,006 Brits polled can list at least three advantages of working for their employer.

The respondents were asked to share why they think their organisation is a good place to work, with an option to offer an opposing view available for those who did not want to endorse their employer as a good place to work.

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Out of the reasons selected, ‘good people and friendly employees’, was the top pick for two in five (40 per cent) workers, followed by ‘good pay’ and ‘job security’ (35 per cent and 34 per cent respectively).

‘Having a supportive manager’ was the fourth most important aspect, with 27 per cent of respondents citing this, while a quarter (24 per cent) said a good employee benefits package was important to them.

One in five people (21 per cent) rated organisations that encourage flexible working and work-life balance, have a good industry-wide reputation, support employees’ wellbeing, and promote a safe and fair working environment alongside diversity and inclusion. 

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Meanwhile, six per cent admitted there was nothing about the company that employs them that made it a good place to work.

However, even those looking for a change were more positive than negative: three-quarters (73 per cent) of the people planning to change jobs this year or who were already in the process of doing so named at least three factors that made their organisation a good place to work, and 53 per cent cited at least five factors.

According to the research, this demonstrated there were usually many reasons, rarely just one, that prompted individuals to join, stay at or leave an organisation.

Claire Williams, chief people officer at Ciphr, said the findings highlighted how no employer should underestimate the importance of the relationships employees have with their colleagues, and the impact these can have on individual and team performance, morale, productivity and even retention. “At a basic level you are far more likely to work in a collaborative and engaging way with people you get on with, and there is a higher chance of enjoying your role and having a positive association with your employer, if your time is broadly filled with like-minded people,” she said.

Lisa Seagroatt, founder of consultancy HR Fit for Purpose, said the findings were “encouraging” in terms of workplace culture. “It is pleasing to see these results despite all the turmoil and difficulties people are facing in the workplace right now,” she said, adding that “having good people around you when times are tough, particularly at work – where we spend so much of our time – is important”.

Alan Price, CEO of BrightHR, in turn said he was not surprised by the results, emphasising that when people are happy at work this shows. “Productivity, attendance rates, job satisfaction and retention rates all increase, saving employers time and money. In addition, positive workplace relationships foster improved teamwork and increased innovation and collaboration, which helps an organisation stay at the top of its game and facilitates good morale,” he said.

While building a workforce and hiring new employees “based on common values and effective behaviours” is a great place to start if you are looking to improve relationships between colleagues, Williams warned that this could also pose a risk in reducing or negatively impacting on an organisation’s diversity.

For this reason, she advised that employers take a measured approach if introducing any process or criteria when hiring and firing where part of the goal is to create a more harmonious workforce – “employers should consider recognised and accredited screening methods or psychometric testing, for example, to avoid inadvertent discrimination”, Williams added.