More Productivity, Engagement, and Job Satisfaction – That’s What Having a Friend At Work Can Do
If you are looking for ideas to improve your tech employee’s satisfaction and overall happiness at work, try encouraging having a friend at work. Far from being a distraction, waste of time, or drain on productivity, having a friend at work reaps benefits for employees and employers alike. According to Gallup, their research has “consistently found that for women and men having a best friend at work leads to better performance.” Their employee engagement database shows that only 20 percent of U.S. employees strongly agree they have a best friend at work. But by moving that ratio to 60 percent, Gallup says, organizations could realize:
- 36% fewer safety incidents
- 7% more engaged customers
- 12% higher profit
That is why all tech employers should encourage, rather than discourage, having a friend at work. Having friends in the workplace can improve employee experience, making employees less likely to walk out on a job, more likely to enjoy their jobs, and less likely to experience stress at work. There are several simple ways IT companies can help their workforce establish the kinds of personal relationships that lead to better results personally and company-wide. Here are six things employers can do to encourage workplace friendships:
Connect New Hires With a Guide
Getting settled into a new job is rarely easy. No matter how knowledgeable and qualified the new hire is for the job, understanding the culture, personalities, expectations, and unwritten rules of a workplace doesn’t happen automatically. Pair up a new hire with a more seasoned, outgoing, and friendly employee during the onboarding process who can show them the ropes and help them feel comfortable. Your new hire will appreciate having a mentor to lean on in those early days and for days to come.
Promote Peer-to-Peer Recognition
While everyone likes hearing praise from their boss, accolades from a peer can create stronger team camaraderie and enhance the culture of having a friend at work. Every quarter, have employees give shout-outs to one or more of their coworkers that can be read aloud at a team meeting or lunch. Back up the positive feedback with a gift card or other token of appreciation for all the great work.
Bridge the Generation Gap
Plenty has been written about the differences between Boomers and Gen-Xers and their younger Millenial or Generation Z colleagues. But both sides have plenty to learn from each other, and pairing an older worker with a younger one can broaden their perspectives, help them find common ground, and build intergenerational friendships.
According to the Harvard Business Review, research “suggests that putting older and young workers together helps both groups perform better. They make good allies in part because of their similar interests, but because of their different stages of life, they are less competitive with each other than workers in the same age cohort might be. That means that they are more likely to help each other and to form good teams.”
Get The Gang Together Regularly
Tech workers spend so much time with their head down – focused on their work, looking at their screen or nestled in their earbuds – that a strong effort may be needed for them to get together with colleagues. Create opportunities for both professional and personal interaction and bonding. Arrange team lunches where colleagues can chat about non-work topics, or hold offsite meetings in which work can mix with more casual conversations. Of course, social activities where fun is the focus, like bowling, escape rooms, happy hours, or other activities you employees would enjoy and participate in, are a great way to promote tech employees having a friend at work.
Let The Games Begin
Games are inherently social and get people talking. Those involving teams can build camaraderie and help coworkers learn what they have in common, all of which can lead to better teamwork when it’s time for work instead of play. In addition, playing games can be a great way to enhance focus, which benefits everyone.
Establish An Open Door Policy
Open communication is essential in any friendship, and you can set the example in this regard by having an open-door policy yourself. Make it clear that your team can talk to you about anything without reservation. Your open-door policy will create a more welcoming and comfortable environment overall, which makes having a friend at work that much easier. And, as an added bonus, you will find that your employees are satisfied, productive, and loyal to the company.
GTN – You’ve Got A Friend In Technical Staffing
Remember the expression, it’s all in who you know? GTN can be the friend that connects your company to the most qualified IT out there. Our results-driven reputation throughout the tech industry for connecting the right talent to the right companies is unparalleled. Contact us today to learn more.