Friends Foster Engagement

From Bert and Ernie to Buzz and Woody to R2-D2 and C-3PO, we can see that friendships are important. Friends help us to overcome adversity and relish in great successes. The relationships that we build and the memories that we share fuel our lives and give us fulfilling experiences.

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Previously in the business world, there was a pretty strong feeling that our personal and professional lives should remain separate. However, in today’s business climate, it’s important that we have strong bonds in the work place.

In fact, friendships are so powerful. They can help us achieve our goals, make us happier and lessen our grief. If we think about some of our most trying moments, we can probably think of friends who helped get us out of those situations. When we build a quality group of individuals that we like to share our lives with, great things can happen to us. I think the number of friends is up to the individual, as some people need a lot and others don’t need as many; however, friends are still a necessity in our personal and professional lives.

Friends can even increase the engagement of workers in the work place. In a Gallup survey, it was found that friendship could be a bigger motivator than ever thought.  It can actually turn a moderately engaged employee into a highly engaged employee, which is good for the bottom line. According the article, a really strong bond with a team member, or having a best friend at work, allows employees to be more productive, have a higher potential retention rate and be more positive about the company.

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This is not to say that you have to go to each team member and force them to be friends, but it is to say that businesses and leaders should make time for team and relationship building. Leaders should be less fearful of the extra few minutes spent at lunch or a lengthier conversation at a cubical and more fearful of silence, lack of relationships or no happy hour outings. Teams are created by employees spending time with one another, which generates friendships. Teams with friends actually perform better than teams with acquaintances.

Friends… Great for business, great for our personal lives. They keep us grounded, they keep us real and they keep us happy!

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