How important is it to have friends at work?
As adults, in any given week we spend much more time around people at work than we do outside of the organization. As social creatures, it is inevitable that we form personal relationships and friendships with those around us.
In fact, one of the questions from Gallup’s famous Q12 survey is, “I have a best friend at work.” By their own admission this is one of the more controversial questions on the survey. In my own companies I know we struggled with how to interpret this question. Are they asking if my best friend in the world just so happens to work with me? Do they mean there is someone at work I like better than others?
Despite the confusion around the question, the data is clear that friendship is more important than pay or benefits, and strongly correlates to productivity, safety, customer loyalty and profitability (source: The Collective Advantage, Gallup).
So how can leaders foster friendships in the workplace, for the benefit of the organization as a whole?
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