In case you missed it (ICYMI!) the first Sunday of the month of August is International Friendship Day. Chances are you probably saw a lot of sappy social media posts celebrating the occasion with close friends and family. Whether or not you like Hallmark holidays, I always think it’s important to take the time out of our days to celebrate and cherish the precious and memorable bond of true friendship. Who doesn’t like a good excuse to hang out with your BFF?
But let’s not forget about your work BFFs, too!
We are social creatures and have always valued the importance of friends in our lives. And when the bulk of our days are spent at the office, friendships at work are not just a nice to have, they are vital to your personal happiness (and sanity!). With numerous research reports telling us that employee engagement is plateauing at a dismally low rate, friendships can make the difference between happiness at work and employee burnout.
Whether it be crazy Hawaiian shirt day, corporate community service or wellness competitions, organizations know the importance of creating an environment that teamwork, togetherness and cultivates friendships. In celebration of international friendship day, here are the top three benefits organizations can expect when their employees feel that work is more than just a day at the office:
- Happier employees – Strong social connections at work boost productivity and make employees happier at their jobs. Friendships are a key driver of engagement and thus performance, and contribute significantly to staff retention rates.
- Motivated employees – Connected colleagues usually motivate each other to work harder due to camaraderie. A poor effort means more than just a dissatisfied customer; it means letting your friends down. A common sense of purpose as well as social pressure to do a good job can often serve as a stronger motivator than a boss.
- Company loyalty – Employees with strong friendships tend to stay on with their company for longer periods of time. When our coworkers are our friends, it’s their loyalty to their colleagues that keeps them from changing jobs or accepting an offer with another company.
Friendships in the office are not limited to just personal, they can be between departments as well. The closer teams work together, the better it will be for the organization.
Over the years I’ve seen great things come from friendships at work. There’s always something we can learn from each other. This is especially true of marketing and learning departments. In the spirit of celebrating friends and building stronger relationships at work, check out our “Why Learning and Marketing should be BFFs” whitepaper for tips on how you can increase the success of your training and development program and market your learning management system (LMS) in a fun and targeted way.