I have always believed in the importance of having friends at work, and being aware of the impact it has on employees’ productivity and creativity. I have myself forged many meaningful and enduring friendships throughout my career. So how can managers create and maintain a friendship-friendly workplace that delivers measurable results?
The Power of Work Friends: Fact or Fiction! 👯
I love what Prof. Jonathan A.J. Wilson PhD DLitt Clifton says in his latest article. As he explains, we so often claim that “people are our greatest asset”. Yet, so many executives I’ve met expect employees to leave their personal lives at the door when they come to work. Whether a workplace is fully in person, fully remote, or hybrid, a culture that prioritises and encourages work friendships is ultimately good for employees!
As someone for whom many of her enduring friendships were forged in the workplace, I absolutely love his advice on building lasting friendships at work!
So how can managers create and maintain a friendship-friendly workplace that delivers measurable results?
Here are some top actions that I fully endorse from Jon to take right now!
1. Establish a buddy system
Everyone needs a buddy, especially when they’re new to a company. Teaming up new hires with veteran employees can expedite onboarding and productivity. Workplace buddies not only give new hires tips, but they help them make connections with other people in the company. The key to an effective buddy system is the frequency of the interactions. Work buddies need to meet up often to bond and be more productive!
2. Increase face time
Before the pandemic, work was a place where colleagues could get coffee, have lunch, and run into each other in the hallway for impromptu conversations. For people who started working remotely full time in 2020, one of the biggest changes was the decrease in hours they spent engaging socially with work friends. Building friendships requires talking to, seeing, and being with people. The best way to connect is to see each other — even if it’s on Zoom or FaceTime. Business leaders need to set an example: Communicate in person more and email less! Further, leaders can encourage in-person interactions by revising expectations, establishing new cultural norms, and even updating workplace configurations.
3. Jam constantly
When people share a common goal and achieve great things together, they form a connection. The joy is in working together to produce magic. Using the Beatles as an example of a high-performing team, The Economist states: “The Beatles love what they do for a living. When they are not playing music, they are talking about it or thinking about it. They do take after take of their own songs, and jam constantly.”
Read the full article https://bit.ly/3sQq3xj and let me know your thoughts!
How do you build friendships at work? Any advice?