TSI Blog

You’ve Got A Friend In Me

December 3rd, 2015 by Alison McKinney

WoodyOne of the most frequently asked free text question in the employee surveys we carry out is ‘What is the BEST thing about working for XYZ’? And the most popular theme that comes out of asking this question is ‘The people I work with’.

So just how important are our work colleagues? Very, it seems.

As most people work long hours, it’s not surprising that time spent with work colleagues during waking hours exceeds that spent with spouses, families and friends outside of the workplace.

Bearing this fact in mind, it is important that organisations allow their people the opportunity to build quality relationships with their colleagues. This can be accomplished in many ways, either by informal social gatherings outside of work, workplace events and activities or just encouraging general employee interaction.

The benefits reaped by fostering good working relationships amongst employees are many. Here are just a few:-

Improved Teamwork

Where there are healthy relationships amongst employees, especially if they know each other well and have mutual respect for each other, then you can most certainly expect there to be a much more collaborative and cohesive team working spirit. Your people will work well together for the betterment of a project and overall benefit for the organisation for whom they work.

Higher Employee Morale

As previously mentioned, given how much time employees spend in each other’s company, the development of healthy relationships in the workplace can increase employee morale. Colleagues become friendly and look forward to spending time with one another while they carry out their jobs. This may also make work more fun for these employees with the end result not only being a more positive working environment but also improved overall morale.

Improved Staff Retention

When employees feel connected to their colleagues through mutual working ethics, friendship and sense of family, they are much less likely to want to seek employment elsewhere. Friendships take time to build, especially quality friendships, and the prospect of having to start all over may help convince some employees to stay right where they are.

Increased Employee Engagement and Productivity

All of the above benefits add up to one common result: engaged, happy employees who are naturally more productive. Overall, while there may be some issues with employees becoming too friendly and wasting time together, a happy and well-adjusted working environment is a productive one. If people feel more connected to their place of employment, they will naturally want to try harder, go the extra mile to help keep the organisation they work for going and to help it grow.

The Survey Initiative team are experts in the field of employee research and take pride in the work they do with their clients to improve employee engagement levels. If you would like to know more about how we can help your organisation with employee engagement, then call us on +44 (0)1255 850051 or visit our website.

Written by Alison McKinney
Alison McKinney is the Project and Quality Assurance Manager at The Survey Initiative, a dedicated employee research organisation devoted to helping its clients gain insight and understanding into what drives employee engagement in their business. Alison has extensive experience in project management and quality assurance and has recently worked on projects for clients as diverse as: WSP Middle East. Natural History Museum, Peverel, Marine Stewardship Council, Accor UK &Ireland and Thompsons Solicitors. Visit http://www.surveyinitiative.co.uk for more information.

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