…. Ok, I will admit that I was a bit surprised by this one. Though seems to be backed by legit references.
Really, it comes down to the resounding answer ……, to what a Gallup writer calls the “most controversial” question the company asks in employee engagement research.
That question is: “Do you have a best friend at work?”
This is despite the fact that Gallup’s research “has repeatedly shown a concrete link between having a best friend at work and the amount of effort employees expend in their job,” the company’s Annamarie Mann wrote.
Separately, Yale University professors Emma Seppala and Marissa King reached similar conclusions, writing in Harvard Business Review:
“[P]eople who have a “best friend at work” are not only more likely to be happier and healthier, they are also seven times as likely to be engaged in their job.
What’s more, employees who report having friends at work have higher levels of productivity, retention, and job satisfaction than those who don’t.”
This came from an inc.com article: https://www.inc.com/bill-murphy-jr/tom-brady-just-answered-yes-to-a-very-controversial-question.html
When I look at the links, it expands with discussion with
“… the results of a survey of 2,000 U.S. workers conducted for the Bowlero Corporation, which owns and runs 300 bowling venues across the United States.
They asked all kinds of questions about employee engagement and friendships. Among the findings:
- 84 percent of those surveyed said a job can’t truly be great unless they have great coworkers.
- 67 percent say they have at least one co-worker who they consider a close friend.
- Those who said they have close friends at work are more than twice as likely to also say they look forward to going to work than colleagues who don’t.
- 41 percent said they’d left a job because they didn’t like the culture.
- 36 percent say they’d take a pay cut if their workplace would better approach their ideal.
Which is apparently backed up by the Harvard Business Review (you have heard of Harvard, right) that said
It’s hard to build real connections with your colleagues if you never get beyond superficial chit-chat. And yet people who have a “best friend at work” are not only more likely to be happier and healthier, they are also seven times as likely to be engaged in their job. What’s more, employees who report having friends at work have higher levels of productivity, retention, and job satisfaction than those who don’t.
Then it kinda makes some sense later in the article : Research shows that, after food and shelter, belonging is a fundamental human need. Given that we spend between 8 and 9 hours of our day at work (not including commute time), we have significantly less time to fulfill our social needs outside of work.
Yep….Belonging. Yeah, I get it now. Very overlooked in the “old school” approach to business.
So, when you think about this, maybe “team builders” aren’t all that dumb. I guess this is why so many companies are spending money on ping pong tables and Foosball. It’s about creating friends at work. Creating brotherhood. So people feel like they belong.
Makes me wonder what we can all do more of to help create friendships at work. I personally think that picnics and hang outs are better than bowling or paintball. Doesn’t hurt to ask the team what they want to do. Maybe there are ways to create teams by personality types or interest?
I’m thinking out loud on this one. Though I’m always intrigued by ideas that can increase productivity and morale, without actually costing a lot of money. Might we worth thinking about. Maybe even ask your work buddy.