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Independent research amongst 5,132 UK employees by One Poll on behalf of online learning provider, SkillSoft, has uncovered the importance of good interpersonal relationships to employee well-being.

More than half of the overall top 10 factors identified by employees as having an influence on their well-being link directly to interpersonal relationships. “Working with people I like” is cited by 48.6 per cent of respondents; and having this reciprocated “feeling liked by my colleagues” scores almost as highly (41 per cent).

“Getting on well with my boss” is ranked by 34.8 per cent as critical, although “getting on well with colleagues” appears to be more vital to the majority of employees – with 43.2 per cent classifying this as key to well-being in the workplace.

The value of good relationships with work colleagues was also evident when employees were asked who they would talk to first within their organisation if they were unhappy at work. Over a third (36.3 per cent) would consult a colleague and a further 29.2 per cent would prefer to confide in their direct manager or supervisor. However, only 2.4 per cent would speak to their HR department. Of concern to HR professionals and managers alike will be the fact that a worrying 17.3 per cent claim they would stay silent and keep their anxieties to themselves.

When respondents were asked what their organisations could do to help make work a better place, once again interpersonal factors featured highly. Some of the top 10 answers here included: “improve the management skills of my boss”, “cut out the office politics”, and “make work a more fun place to be.”

The overall top 10 factors cited by employees as influencing their well-being at work are:

1. Flexible working hours - 49 per cent
2. Working with people I like - 48.6 per cent
3. Having enough annual leave - 46 per cent
4. Being able to have time off at short notice if necessary - 45 per cent
5. Enjoying the job I do - 45 per cent
6. Getting on well with my colleagues - 43.2 per cent
7. Feeling liked by my colleagues - 41 per cent
8. Getting on well with my boss - 34.8 per cent
9. Being trusted by my boss - 30.6 per cent
10. Being given a clear understanding of what is expected of me - 29.4 per cent

Commenting on the findings, Kay Baldwin-Evans, Director of Research at SkillSoft said:

“Employees clearly place great store in the quality of their relationships at work alongside work/life balance issues and the flexibility of their working day. Our survey shows that in order to create a contented workforce, organisations need to foster a friendly and supportive working environment; demonstrate to employees that they are valued; and promote a healthy work/life balance by finding ways to allow people more flexibility”.

To assist individuals, managers and organisations in addressing work/life balance issues, SkillSoft is offering a complimentary copy of a Books24x7 Executive Summary entitled ‘Life matters – creating a dynamic balance of work, life, time and money’. To get a copy of this article email

A report examining the full findings of the survey will be available to download from the SkillSoft website ( from the end of July.


Notes to editors:

The research was undertaken by One Poll on behalf of SkillSoft and took place during April and May 2007. 5,132 employees from a wide range of sectors took part.

About SkillSoft

SkillSoft PLC (Nasdaq: SKIL) is a leading provider of e-learning and performance support solutions for global enterprises, government, education and small to medium-sized businesses. SkillSoft enables companies to maximize business performance through a combination of comprehensive e-learning content, online information resources, flexible learning technologies and support services.

Content offerings include business, IT, desktop and compliance courseware collections, as well as complementary content assets such as SkillSim(TM) simulations, KnowledgeCenter(TM) portals and online mentoring services. The Books24x7(R) division offers online access to more than 14,000 unabridged IT and business books in its Referenceware(R) collections, as well as book summaries, executive reports and best practices. Technology offerings include the SkillPort(R) learning management system, Search-and-Learn(R), SkillSoft(R) Dialogue(TM) virtual classroom, SkillView(R) competency management software and the Enterprise Learning Connection Suite(TM), a set of platform-neutral modules that can be used to create learning programs tailored to business needs.

SkillSoft courseware content described herein is for information purposes only and is subject to change without notice. SkillSoft has no obligation or commitment to develop or deliver any future release, upgrade, feature, enhancement or function described in this press release except as specifically set forth in a written agreement.

SkillSoft, the SkillSoft logo, Ahead of the Learning Curve, SkillPort, Search-and-Learn, SkillChoice, Books24x7, Referenceware, ITPro, BusinessPro, OfficeEssentials, GovEssentials, EngineeringPro, FinancePro, AnalystPerspectives ExecSummaries, ExecBlueprints, Express Guide and Dialogue are trademarks or registered trademarks of SkillSoft PLC in the United States and certain other countries. All other trademarks are the property of their respective owners.

Issued on behalf of SkillSoft by:

Louise Jaggs at TextOnTap Limited
t: +44(0)1242 257770
m: +44(0)7712 011246
f: +44(0)1242 257771
Skype: louise-tot
SkypeIn: +44(0)20 7193 5212

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