Friendships Are Serious Business
Employees who have friends at work report a higher level of engagement, and the more friends the better. Take a look at the amount of employees who are “highly engaged”:
What are the reasons behind this trend? Certainly having friends at the workplace makes people happier on a daily basis. But employee engagement isn’t won through socializing.
A social psychology study showed that group performance is affected by relationships. Teams made up of friends did better on tasks than teams made up of acquaintances because they had more group commitment and cooperation. And TINYpulse research tells us that camaraderie motivates people to work harder. So the stronger the relationships between your employees, the better their collaboration and dedication on the job.
Why Bosses Should Get Involved
While you can’t force your employees to become buddies, don’t assume this means managers don’t have a role to play. In fact, when it comes to the benefits that friendships provide to the workplace, supervisors should get involved with their employees.
The Gallup Management Journal looked at the connection between work friendships and employees’ engagement and innovation. They asked respondents if their company “is committed to building the strengths of each employee”:
They also looked at the role of management, asking respondents if their supervisor “focuses on their strengths or positive characteristics”:
Coworkers can strike up friendships on their own, but it’s clear that having support from their organization makes a difference. When both management and the company as a whole support their employees, creative collaboration flourishes. These relationships boost employee engagement, and your company wins more teamwork and innovation.