Cultivating friendship in the workplace is a powerful way to motivate your employees.
Although it’s common knowledge that effective teamwork is an essential component of any company’s success, many managers mistakenly believe that friendship isn’t necessarily conducive to this kind of collaboration. But in fact, truly high-performing teams are made up of friends, not mere acquaintances.
And there are many reasons that’s true. Friends are far less likely to let each other down, which means they support each other and deliver on their promises. From a business perspective, that means friendship-centric teams are less likely to fail.
Friendship also negates loneliness. This is not a trivial point, as loneliness can have devastating effects on your body and your work. But unfortunately, loneliness is too common in many offices when employees feel alienated from their colleagues – the emotional equivalent of working in a cubicle. It does not promote happiness and productivity among staff.
So what can you do to mitigate the negative effects of loneliness and cultivate friendship among your employees? Well, it helps to understand how people become friends in the first place, and that is through physical proximity, familiarity and by reaffirming similarity. In other words, people become friends when they work together on the same tasks again and again.
You can make sure your workplace is conducive to this process by eliminating cubicles and any other barriers. Additionally, you can organize group activities like obstacle races or running competitions. Physical activities like these promote friendship by producing a rush of adrenaline, a powerful hormone that makes it easier to connect with those around you.
Ultimately, an environment that supports friendship will help generate a communal feeling of pride in the organization itself. And when your team is proud of the work they do, they’ll be motivated to produce better work.
Written by John Krumbach
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