Workplace friends outvalue money

Having friends at work is more important then earning lots of money, new research has suggested. According to investigators from the University of Iowa, employees are more motivated by a sense of belonging and attachment than they are by the size of their salary.

Published in the Journal of Applied Psychology, the study found teams that are self-managed perform better when cohesive.

Greg Stewart, Henry B Tipple Research Professor of Management and Organisations in the learning institute's Tipple College of Business, noted: "Peer pressure is a strong motivating force and workers' willingness to please people who mean something to them is often a stronger motivating force than financial rewards."

It was demonstrated that teams who function together are more willing to offer support and assistance to other members of the group and successfully perform the role of manager collectively.

Mr Stewart explained everybody has a need for social acceptance and therefore wish to be part of a group they can identify with.

Chartered Psychologist Bev Stone comments:

"Yes, as Maslow found in the 1950s people have a need for a sense of belonging. One of the problems with the sentence that people have ‘a willingness to please people who mean something to them’ is that an informal structure can develop whereby, when the rules and procedures or difficult team members obstruct people, they get around it by going to their friends within the company.

"Since not everyone is going to get on with everyone else, people also need to create an environment of respect, collaboration, support, excellence and integrity (in that you say what you mean and do what you say) even with those who don’t necessarily mean something to you.

"As far as a sense of belonging being a stronger force than financial reward, I haven’t read the research but again I imagine that this was statistically the case but that there are exceptions to this rule. Therefore Managers still need to know  who of their direct reports are motivated by a sense of belonging, who want respect, status, recognition, who are longing for challenge and a sense of achievement and who would like the financial reward to be able to afford to buy their first house or have their first child...."