New research from Reed reveals that workers value their colleagues more than the salary they earn, with 45 percent saying the people they work with is the most satisfying element of working for their current company.

Other rewarding components for workers were flexibility with both work hours and location, with 40 percent stating that was the most satisfying element of their job, and salary (33%).

The research reveals that despite financial pressures, workplace culture and environment remain vital to keeping employees happy at work.

With rising bills and the cost-of-living crisis becoming more concerning for some, the survey also revealed more than a third (36%) felt they are being paid too little for the work they do; in addition to this, almost two thirds (65%) stated their company does not offer rewards for good performance.

Colleagues: Employee retention

Commenting on the survey, Ian Nicholas, Global Managing Director at Reed said: “Now, more than ever before, employee retention is vital for the survival of businesses that are struggling to keep up, especially in the midst of the cost-of-living crisis. Employers need to think long and hard about the measures they have in place to keep their people happy, assess whether those measures are working effectively and if there is room for improvement.

“We’re in an unprecedented labour market. The battle for talent means that the power lies with candidates who are being snapped up quickly and, in some cases, getting multiple offers and large pay increases.”

Ian continues, “Belonging at work, having purpose and feeling appreciated are paramount in the modern workplace.

“And even though remuneration is important, employee satisfaction extends further than offering a good salary and company perks. Following the ‘Great Resignation’ period and the ‘quiet quitting’ trend, it is time for employers to really delve in and analyse how satisfied their employees are if they don’t want to lose them.”

Creating a sense of belonging

Though the survey revealed a few positive insights, such as 64% of employees feeling a sense of belonging at their workplace owed largely to the work they do (51%), feeling valued and respected for their opinions (42%), workplace friendships (41%) and freedom to be themselves (39%), other important factors such as development opportunities and support were among the issues that employees felt were most lacking.

Expanding on this, Ian shares that allowing employees to feel appreciated and giving them purpose at work extends to offering training and development and putting meaning into the work they do.

“Worryingly, a third of employees feel the work they carry out is not meaningful, which in turn negatively impacts their satisfaction at the company.

“A good way to help bring purpose and motivation at work is to offer strong development programmes, and by placing communication and connection at the heart of company culture”, explains Ian.

The results show that employers are still not doing enough in that arena, with 35 percent not satisfied with the training and development at their workplace and 30 percent feeling little to no support when it comes to fulfilling the requirements of their role.

Of the 36 percent of respondents who do not feel connected to their workplace, 57 percent state they feel undervalued and unheard, with almost equal numbers blaming this on management not listening to them and their suggestions, and bad communication.

Employee surveys are valuable 

Oftentimes, a good way to gauge how employees are feeling is to carry out annual, biannual or quarterly surveys but the results show that a staggering 60 percent do not have the means to provide thoughts and feedback to leadership teams. For those that do, only 39 percent feel their senior management teams listen and act on such feedback.

“The survey results are eye-opening during a time where there is growing significance of purpose and belonging in the workplace.

“Not only are we seeing workers shifting away from working a 9-5 job just to make ends meet and wanting more fulfilment from their role, but we are also witnessing workers knowing the importance of being valued in the workplace and the strength in connection.

“It is the people that make the working hours go by easier and quicker, and so employers now need to sit down and think how they can bring communication and connection back to their workforce after a period of isolation and social distancing”, concludes Ian.

Following the survey results, Reed has released a free eBook, ‘Employee satisfaction: building a happier workforce’, highlighting more statistics on how happy employees across the nation are and offering employers insights from industry experts on how to attract and retain staff by boosting satisfaction.





Amelia Brand is the Editor for HRreview, and host of the HR in Review podcast series. With a Master’s degree in Legal and Political Theory, her particular interests within HR include employment law, DE&I, and wellbeing within the workplace. Prior to working with HRreview, Amelia was Sub-Editor of a magazine, and Editor of the Environmental Justice Project at University College London, writing and overseeing articles into UCL’s weekly newsletter. Her previous academic work has focused on philosophy, politics and law, with a special focus on how artificial intelligence will feature in the future.