Peer relationships are critical to job happiness, commitment and creating more memorable milestone experiences, according to a new report from Globoforce, a leading provider of social recognition solutions.

The Fall 2014 Globoforce Workforce Mood Tracker examines the current attitudes and perspectives of U.S. employees about work friendships and how those relationships and peer recognition impact the work anniversary experience. The report’s key findings reveal how vital work relationships are and how companies can leverage this camaraderie to improve years-of-service awards, boost employee commitment and engagement, and improve their bottom lines.

The study was conducted Aug. 13-18 by independent market research firm MarketTools Inc. through an online panel of fully employed persons (age 18 or older) at companies with 500+ employees in the United States. There were 716 responses generated for the survey.

Key insights and findings from the report include:

Relationships are critical to the modern work experience and increase employee commitment.

  • 89 percent of survey respondents say that work relationships are important to their quality of life and 93 percent value the respect of work friends or colleagues.
  • 64 percent of employees with 6-25 co-worker friends love their companies and 48 percent are highly engaged, compared to only 24 percent and 28 percent, respectively, for those who don’t have friends at work.

Years-of-service awards that include co-worker participation, emotion and recognition yield more powerful results than receiving a “congratulations” solely from a manager.

  • 28 percent of respondents are more likely to feel appreciated if they work in companies where co-workers are included in their anniversary celebration, and 44 percent are more likely to identify themselves as highly engaged.
  • 95 percent found an anniversary with emotion and recognition to be a positive experience and were three times more likely to say it made them feel more valued.

Employees yearn for a more shareable and meaningful milestone experience than simply being given a gold watch or lapel pin to commemorate an anniversary

  • 45 percent of respondents prefer anniversary celebrations that include shared memories and congratulations from co-workers and managers (more than twice as many as any other choice).
  • 65 percent say shared memories and stories from co-workers would make their anniversary more meaningful, while 72 percent would prefer recognition of career accomplishments.

Source: Globoforce

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