The Power of Friendships at Work
“I have no friends at work”
“I have no friends at work” was the opening line of a question to the agony aunt of Psychologies magazine.
The person posing their problem went on to say,
“There is not much staff turnover and it is quite cliquey.
People are not unkind, but they will go off to lunch in little groups and never invite me.”
Reading the full problem gives a powerful insight into an organisation that has some interesting ‘Unwritten Ground Rules’.
UGRs are a concept developed by Steve Simpson. The UGRs in this organisation may include things like…
“In this company we don’t help people to feel part of the team.”
“In this company we allow cliques to form that exclude new employees.”
“It’s okay for new employees to feel isolated.”
Sadly, I’m not too surprised by this scenario.
We live and work in a world where too much reliance is placed upon rates of pay, bonuses and other financial incentives without giving enough thought to quality of time spent at work.
Friendships at work are key to success.
A study by Officevibe found that,
“70% of employees regard friends at work as the most important element of a happy life at work.
58% of men and 74% of women would even refuse a pay increase if it meant not getting along with their colleagues.“
For more than 30 years of employee engagement research, Gallup have included the question, ‘Do you have a best friend at work?’ in their surveys.
The simple reason behind this question is that research has shown a clear link between having a best friend at work and the amount of effort that employees put into their work.
Gallup calculate that people who have a best friend at work may be twice as likely to feel engaged in their work than those who do not.
Strong bonds at work have been identified as one of the strongest predictors of productivity.
The world has changed massively in the last few months. Covid-19 may have changed the way that we work for ever. A massive shift is happening with regard to respecting diversity and equality. There has possibly never been a more urgent need for improving relationships at work. Business leaders who recognise the power of friendship are going to be able to attract and retain the best people and build businesses that people feel proud to be associated with.
We recognise just how important it is to share praise between colleagues, so we enable you to capture colleague to colleague compliments, as well as those from your customers. You can review and report on this feedback from within our system. This is a powerful way of reinforcing values, giving people pride in their work and building friendships in the workplace.
To have friends is to have trust, respect, companionship, support. But more than that, friendship is a source of energy and a foundation from which so much more can be accomplished than by individuals acting alone. This is the synergy of friendship.
“70% of employees say that friends at work is the most crucial element to a happy working life.”
30th July is International Friendship Day, a tradition started in 1919. This is an opportunity to make sure that everyone in your organisation has a friend at work.
Derek Williams, Founder of The WOW! Awards
27th July 2020