I am rapidly approaching my 10-year anniversary with my company. It’s a family-owned business so already has a friendly built-in quality about it that makes it feel familiar before you even get to know anyone. I have made lifelong friends over the years – some have left and keep in touch and some are still here alongside me.
I am part of the orientation process here so when new employees start – I have the unique opportunity to meet with them one-on-one to talk about my day-to-day and how it fits into the overall company puzzle. The one thing that has struck me about every new employee is that each of them has said the same thing to me -- “everyone here is so welcoming, nice, and happy.” So when I stumbled across this article about how friends at work make for happier employees and positively impact the bottom line I found it to be an interesting and relevant read for our industry.
I think my company does a great job encouraging friendships among co-workers – at the very least an atmosphere of true teamwork and support. And it seems to make great common sense that a company should promote this amongst their employees, doesn’t it? After all, when employees are fully invested not only in their work but also the people that they work alongside each day – the entire experience is more meaningful.
While I believe that companies would be remiss to not embrace the opportunity to promote friendships it certainly needs to be genuine and not just about the benefits it brings to a company’s bottom line. There are many ways for companies to foster these relationships not the least of which is a rewards program.
Whether it is a peer-to-peer program or even wellness – these types of programs can inadvertently result in stronger friendships among co-workers. And while these programs are not typically put in place with the sole benefit of helping employees become friends – I think it certainly is an ancillary advantage with the potential for a significant return that pays out in loyalty, increased productivity, and good old fashioned happiness.