Workplace Friendships Improve Innovation Success
June 24, 2011 2 Comments
Have you ever taken a workplace survey that asked about your friendships at work? If you took a Gallup survey, the question asked you to rate the statement “I have a best friend at work.” In looking at the dimensions that promote employee retention, customer metrics, productivity, and profitability, Gallup found the friendship question consistently correlated with all four dimensions. In fact, employees who had best friends at work were:
- 43% more likely to report having received praise or recognition for their work in the last seven days.
- 37% more likely to report that someone at work encourages their development.
- 35% more likely to report coworker commitment to quality.
- 28% more likely to report that in the last six months, someone at work has talked to them about their progress.
- 27% more likely to report that the mission of their company makes them feel their job is important.
- 27% more likely to report that their opinions seem to count at work.
- 21% more likely to report that at work, they have the opportunity to do what they do best every day.
As I thought about the benefit of friendships at work, I began wondering whether there was a positive correlation between friendship and the success rate of innovation. To me, it makes sense that the success or failure of innovation initiatives might be related to the support and involvement we have with friends in the workplace.
Innovation can be an emotionally draining uphill battle. Innovation is also a team sport. Thus, having friends help you push the ball uphill would be a great benefit. Guess that explains why innovation job postings require ‘strong communication and persuasion skills.’ I suppose when you’re role is to challenge the status quo, the ability to make friends comes in handy to help smooth over any resistance to change.