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Human Resource Management

Tom Zagenczyk Weighs In on ‘Coworker’ Definition and Why It’s Important

In a new paper, Zagenczyk and colleagues examine what 'coworker' means, and why clear definitions of workplace relationships have important implications for organizations trying to gauge employee satisfaction.

coworkers in a meeting

A recently published paper by Poole College Professor of Management Tom Zagenczyk and colleagues suggests that organizations that use surveys to measure engagement or satisfaction among their employees should offer them specific definitions of the workplace relationships that are of interest.

For example, if they ask employees about their relationships with supervisors, leaders and coworkers, but don’t distinguish as to what a “coworker” is, it may limit what they actually learn from the results of the survey — as some employees will regard their supervisor as a coworker, some will not, and the organizations will be unsure of what their strengths (or weaknesses) are.

Read more from Group & Organization Management.