Can your colleagues make or break a job?

We asked for your views in our recent LinkedIn poll and the answer was a resounding ‘yes’. More than nine in ten of you (92%) said that work colleagues really can make or break a job.

Given the amount of our lives we spend at work, it’s no wonder the people around us really matter. They provide important support and guidance, they can help us get our job done and they can act as counsellor when things get tough.

But maybe our question wasn’t nuanced enough. Certainly, colleagues who are unhelpful, critical and poor performers are going to make it very hard for you to stay in a job, but a job is never just about who we work with.

Research has shown that there are in fact six things that must be in place for us to be positive about our employee experience:

  1. Organisational trust – we expect the companies we work for to operate with integrity.
  2. Co-worker relationships – as our LinkedIn poll found, when our relationships at work are positive then we’re much more likely to feel good about our work.
  3. Meaningful work – the work that we’re doing needs to use our skills and talents and it needs to be aligned to our core values.
  4. Recognition, feedback and growth – when we are appreciated for our contribution, we feel more positive about our employee experience. We also want opportunities to grow our skills and experience.
  5. Empowerment and voice – ever feel like no one’s listening? When your ideas and suggestions count and you have freedom to decide how you do your work, you’ll be more positive about your job.
  6. Work-life balance – as the pandemic has shown, we appreciate some flexibility to enable our work to fit well into our life. No amount of wonderful colleagues will make up for you missing your child’s starring role in the school play.

As the above shows, co-workers really matter, but so do the five other things above when it comes to making or breaking a job. What do you think of the above list? Can your co-worker relationships make up for deficits in some of these other areas? We’d love to hear about your experiences.

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