One of the popular questions to ask in employee engagement surveys is “Do you have a best friend at work?” This is one of the Gallup 12 questions, researched more than 30 years with over 17 million employees. The question is downright dorky. Employees are puzzled. Executives are suspicious. However, it is such a strong predictor of employee engagement and high performance that Gallup can’t get rid of it.
Gallup has tried to ask the question in different ways, removing the word “best” or the word “friend”. When they did, it lost its predictive nature. So let’s look at it this way. What if your best friend really worked with you – wouldn’t work be different? Wouldn’t you be more excited to go to work? Or, what if you loved your company so much that you wanted all your best friends to work there because you thought it would be unfair of you not to try to give them the same chance you have.
Employees who report having a best friend at work are twice as engaged as their coworkers without a BFF at work. The same ratio shows in retention, loyalty, and recommending the company and its products.
I’m convinced, you say. But how can we get more Best Friends at Work?
The bottom line is to create an environment conducive to relationship building. Is your new employee orientation welcoming? Do you have places for your employees and teams to gather to socialize during breaks? Do your team members know each other beyond the title and job description? Does your company organize social events? Are you utilizing the social media to connect with the Millenials?
Don’t be shy – your Best Friend is out there!
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