Businesses are working with their staff as they look to navigate tough economic conditions, according to a CBI survey

Many UK companies are working with their staff and taking them into consideration as they battle to overcome challenging economic conditions, a newly published survey has shown.

The Confederation of British Industry (CBI) study, which covers 319 firms and 1.9 million workers in Britain, revealed that 67% of companies believe employee relations in their offices are either cooperative or very cooperative at present.

Meanwhile, only a small number of firms (5%) said employee relations were adversarial or very adversarial in their place of work.

The findings also highlighted that staff morale is believed to be high or very high at 40% of firms in the UK.

The business lobbying organisation's research also found that most businesses are confident that their staff understand the need to adapt to market pressures.

Results showed that 85% believe their workers can see why work patterns need to be reviewed and costs have to be cut down as much as possible.

Only 15% of companies did not believe their staff could understand these conditions.

Over the next 12 months, increased employee engagement (60%), containing labour costs (48%) and filling key vacancies (38%) were highlighted as the top workforce priorities.

The survey also revealed that there will be an increase in jobs created in the private sector overall.

Around 30% of employers are looking to take on more permanent staff during the next six months, while only 18% believe there will be a fall in recruitment.

Katja Hall, CBI chief policy director, explained that there is a "good story to tell" when it comes to collaborations in the workplace, as firms have looked to both protect and create jobs.

"With two-thirds of businesses reporting high levels of cooperation in their workplace, employers clearly understand the value of engaging their employees and keeping them informed about business challenges being faced," she said.

"The interests of employees, employers, and the economy as a whole will continue to be best served by maintaining these positive employment relationships. Businesses do not recognise the more adversarial, political rhetoric being adopted by some unions as representing the reality on the ground."

Copyright Press Association 2012