At work, connection with coworkers makes all the difference
Think about jobs you either loved or loathed. Apart from the work itself, your relationship with coworkers was probably key. The people we work alongside impact how we feel about what we do.
At Top Workplaces, when things are going right, survey comments reveal a deep commitment to the job. We can see how others influence the discretionary effort people are willing to give. People work hard if others work hard. People give more because they want to support the team.
Here are factors that tend to indicate a strong work environment. All these comments, pulled from recent employee surveys, reflect a strong connection to work.
Appreciation: “I have a GREAT set of coworkers across the organization that are always there to support me and vice versa. They willingly share their knowledge and respect each other for what we all bring to the table. I love this organization!!!!!!!”
Clued-in Employees: “I feel included in all decisions made within my team, and everyone has been more than helpful. I have created great relationships with my coworkers and look forward to my workday. My stress levels are lower, and I have been fulfilled.”
Concerns: “My coworkers are great people, management listens to my concerns, and we work together to find a solution or compromise.”
Development: “My managers and coworkers are all about helping each other achieve our goal, and when we need help, there is more than one source. Also, I feel like I am part of a dream team, and we all excel in what we do.”
Direction: “My coworkers and I are always working toward common goals. I know that if I need help/support that I can go to anyone.”
Execution: “From my very first day, I have received nothing but support from my coworkers. Everyone is so supportive that even when some days are stressful you still enjoy coming to the office and being around them.”
Expectations: “The people that I work with genuinely care about one another. My coworkers have become my friends, and people that I am excited to spend time with both inside and outside of work.”
Innovation: “My coworkers are my biggest cheerleaders, and you can tell that everyone is rooting for each other. It is not a dog-eats-dog kind of workplace, but a place where everyone is encouraged to thrive in whatever they do best. We all share ideas and helpful tips that collectively improve the culture.”
Interdepartmental cooperation: “I love my coworkers and I enjoy doing extra activities at work with everyone. … I am comfortable asking my coworkers and manager questions, giving my input, and coming to work as my authentic self every day.”
Loyalty: “I love my coworkers even when days get tough. The relationship we have helps me through. I've never worked somewhere in which I am being asked to schedule days off because I enjoy coming to work.”
Meaningfulness: “I am surrounded by coworkers with so much professional knowledge and are extremely dedicated to their work.”
Work-life flexibility: “I know my managers and coworkers care for me inside and outside of work. I'm never discouraged from making time for my family. … My manager will always be understanding about any circumstances outside of work that might be weighing on me.”
Potential: “I feel like my managers and coworkers care about me and are invested in helping me grow, both personally and professionally.”
Values: “I feel supported and valued. I love everyone I work with and feel we are more than just coworkers; we are a family. We are all striving for the same goals.”
Bob Helbig is media partnerships director at Energage, a Philadelphia-based employee survey firm. Energage is The Washington Post’s survey partner for Top Workplaces.