“It’s all about the people”: Why this is the #1 reason people stay in their jobs

Rather heart-warmingly, this is how one of our “What’s the #1 reason you stay in your job” online poll respondents succinctly put it. 

More than a third of respondents chose “I actually like the people I work with” as their #1 reason. Here are the full results: 

  • I actually like the people I work with – 35.2% 
  • I have flexible hours and work arrangements – 17.6% 
  • Other – 17.6% 
  • I actually like the work I do – 11.7% 
  • The money: I am paid above-market rate – 5.8% 
  • My manager inspires me – 5.8% 
  • There are opportunities for learning – 2.9% 
  • I am too lazy to look for another job – 2.9% 
  • There are opportunities for promotion – 0.0% 
  • The bonus and other financial rewards – 0.0% 

As much as “Hawaiian Fridays” would also tempt me to stay in an otherwise lacklustre role (as another witty respondent volunteered as their #1 reason), I personally agree that it really is the people you work with that ultimately make or break a job. You could get the best job in the world, but if you then discovered that you’ll also be faced with a team of idiots and a psychopathic manager every day, then you’d probably be out the door again quick smart.

I’m just saying.

To further support this, here are some more poll responses:

  • I am blessed to be surrounded with very capable and competent staff.
  • I work with a truly amazing and inspiration group of people from the CEO to the Reception staff. The whole team is there to support each other and we are all working towards the goals. The first company I have worked for in quite a few years that I would be really sad if I ever left!
  • I work for family-owned company that treats its people like family. They reward and recognise many things that I know many other employers simply do not.

It’s a safe bet that most people consider employee compatibility to be an essential requirement for an optimum work experience. Liking one’s co-workers will likely remain the key to overall job satisfaction as long as people are required to spend a lot of time on the job and work with the same people on a regular basis. It has also been shown to increase productivity, job satisfaction, and even life satisfaction. 

“Anecdotal evidence throughout the culture suggests that liking one’s co-workers is a cherished benefit and even good for business. For example, the U.S. Army for years ran advertisements using the jingle “Be All You Can Be” until market research indicated that to attract the next generation of personnel, a better approach would be to stress the opportunity to “work with people you like”. Recent recruitment posters feature groups of people working together in a variety of occupations.” [Source]

“Professor John Lounsbury, Trump University faculty (psychometric assessments) and a professor of psychology  at the University of Tennessee, has conducted extensive research in the area of job satisfaction. He has made some striking findings that suggest a positive correlation between employee compatibility and overall levels of personal satisfaction:

  • Based on a diverse sample of more than 1,100 adults in a variety of occupations, I’ve found that liking the people you work with is substantially related (positively) to overall job satisfaction and moderately related to both career satisfaction and life satisfaction.
  • Also, people who rate higher on the following traits tend to like the people they work with more: resilient/emotionally well-adjusted, extraverted-outgoing, agreeable, optimistic.
  • There are no differences in liking coworkers for males versus females, and workers age 20-29 like the people they work with more them those age 30-39. [Source]

Whilst we’re on the topic of happy teams and staff morale, next week we’ll be looking at whether or not employers should foot the bill for their company’s Christmas party. What do you think? Have your day in this week’s online poll


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