The Trickle Down Effect: How Building Relationships Among Employees Boosts Engagement

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The Trickle Down Effect: How Building Relationships Among Employees Boosts Engagement

5 min

According to Gallup’s State of the American Workplace, organizations with high employee engagement report a 21% increase in productivity. This statistic illustrates the profound impact engaged employees have on a company’s success. One reliable way to measure this vital piece of data is through employee engagement survey scores. These reports offer a clear snapshot of how connected and motivated your team feels. This engagement doesn’t just stay within the confines of work tasks. It has a trickle-down effect, enhancing workplace relationships and fostering a supportive environment. A key component of this enhanced connectivity is the significance of having a workplace friend, which can transform the daily work experience, providing both emotional support and improving job satisfaction. In our upcoming discussion, we will explore why cultivating friendships at work isn’t just beneficial—it’s essential for a thriving workplace culture.

The Importance of a Work Best Friend

Recent Gallup findings highlight the growing importance of having a “best friend” at work. This need has grown especially important since the onset of the pandemic and the rise of remote and hybrid work environments. 

Employees with a best friend in the workplace are more engaged and enjoy their time working. As a result, they accomplish tasks more efficiently, share their ideas freely, and are more likely to innovate.

Besides the increased output within the workplace, employees who have a work best friend are also your best recruits for future talent. Research indicates that those who have a workplace bestie are less likely to leave. 

They’re also more likely to recommend their place of work to others. These recommendations could be beneficial for vetting candidates for open positions. They could also increase your online presence on platforms like Glassdoor.

Co-worker Friendships and Employee Engagement Surveys

Building strong interpersonal relationships among employees is a crucial component of a thriving and resilient organization. When colleagues form genuine connections, the workplace transforms into a community where individuals feel supported, understood, and motivated. 

These relationships serve as the foundation for collaboration, trust, and mutual respect. Having these elements between colleagues is essential for navigating the complexities of today’s workforce. 

The psychological impact of feeling connected and valued in the workplace cannot be overstated. Employees who perceive themselves as integral parts of their team and organization are likely to exhibit higher levels of job satisfaction and well-being. 

This sense of belonging triggers positive emotions and reduces stress, which benefits an individual’s mental and physical health. It also enhances cognitive functions such as creativity, problem-solving, and decision-making. 

Furthermore, when employees feel valued, their loyalty to the company increases. It leads to reduced turnover rates and the attraction of top talent seeking similar positive work experiences.These are all crucial for your action plan after an employee engagement survey. 

Positive relationships at work are directly linked to heightened levels of employee engagement. Engaged employees are those who are deeply involved and enthusiastic about their work, driving them to contribute their best efforts towards the organization’s goals. 

They are more committed, show up with energy and passion, and are willing to go the extra mile. This heightened engagement not only elevates individual performance but also significantly contributes to the overall success of the team and organization.

The Challenges of Fostering Workplace Relationships In Hybrid and Remote Jobs

Close work relationships are crucial for co-workers keeping each other informed about workplace happenings. They’re crucial for adapting to new technologies and learning new processes together.

In the evolving landscape of hybrid and remote work, a significant challenge emerges. Only 20% of U.S. employees report having a best friend at work. This statistic confronts us with the reality that fostering close workplace relationships in today’s work environment is more difficult than ever.

Given the critical role that best friends at work play in employee engagement and workplace culture, it’s imperative for leaders to directly address and overcome the challenges of nurturing these connections within a physically distant workforce. Encouraging and facilitating workplace friendships can significantly impact the overall health of an organization and its ability to thrive in a changing world.

The Manager’s Role in Co-worker Relationship Building

Management plays a pivotal role in fostering friendships among co-workers by serving as the central force that brings everyone together. Through strategic team assignments and collaborative projects, management creates opportunities for employees to interact in meaningful ways. 

Working closely on assignments naturally leads to conversations, shared experiences, and a deeper understanding of each other’s strengths, weaknesses, and personal backgrounds. These shared tasks and objectives become a common ground upon which colleagues can build relationships.

By actively providing these opportunities, management encourages a culture where getting to know one another is not just possible but expected. This might include organizing team-building activities, encouraging cross-departmental collaborations, or simply creating spaces for casual interactions. 

Such initiatives signal to employees that the organization values not just their professional contributions but also their personal connections. Ultimately, when management invests in creating a cohesive environment, it lays the foundation for stronger interpersonal relationships, enhancing teamwork and boosting overall workplace morale.

Strategies for Fostering Relationships Across Your Workforce

Improving employee relations is essential for fostering a productive, engaging, and harmonious work environment. One effective strategy for managers to encourage relationship-building among employees is through organized team-building activities. 

These activities can range from problem-solving tasks that require teamwork to more relaxed social events outside of work. Such initiatives not only break down formal barriers but also allow employees to discover common interests and build mutual respect in a less structured setting. 

Additionally, maintaining open channels of communication is crucial. Managers should encourage feedback, provide regular check-ins, and create an environment where employees feel comfortable voicing their thoughts and concerns. This openness promotes a sense of belonging and trust within the team.

For virtual workers, the need for opportunities to build relationships is even more pronounced, given the lack of physical proximity and the challenges of remote communication. Strategies to improve relations among remote teams include virtual team-building exercises, regular video meetings to maintain a personal connection, and using technology to celebrate milestones and achievements. 

Platforms that facilitate casual conversations, such as virtual water coolers or chat rooms for non-work-related discussions, can mimic the office environment’s spontaneous interactions. Leveraging technology not only helps bridge the distance gap but also ensures that virtual workers feel as integral to the team as their in-office counterparts. In the evolving workplace, these strategies are vital for maintaining a cohesive and connected workforce, regardless of physical location.

Using Tech to Build Relationships Among Team Members

The advent of technology has revolutionized the way we build and maintain relationships within the workplace, especially in hybrid and remote environments. Utilizing technology effectively can significantly improve morale and engagement among team members, ensuring that everyone feels connected, valued, and part of a cohesive unit regardless of their physical location. Tools like Bonfyre offer pre-built activities specifically designed to foster these connections, highlighting the practical ways technology can be leveraged to enhance workplace relationships.

Bonfyre provides a suite of activities aimed at strengthening bonds among employees by encouraging the sharing of photos, stories, GIFs, and perspectives. These lightweight team activities are crafted to establish a sense of commonality and belonging, crucial elements in a well-functioning team. 

Additionally, Bonfyre enables organizations to launch company or department-wide campaigns aimed at capturing and sharing powerful customer and employee stories. This not only helps in building relationships but also aligns with company values and key initiatives, fostering a shared sense of purpose across the organization. Such campaigns can bridge the gap between different locations, roles, and languages, making everyone feel included and part of the broader organizational narrative.

Bonfyre’s Culture Coach AI takes engagement one step further by offering automated suggestions for team activities based on unique engagement survey scores, training programs, teams, and goals. Leaders can easily launch these tailored activities with just a few clicks, ensuring that relationship-building efforts are aligned with the specific needs and dynamics of their team. This level of customization underscores how technology can be a powerful ally in not just maintaining but actively improving workplace relationships and overall team morale!

In hybrid and remote work settings, where physical interactions are limited or non-existent, such technological tools are indispensable. They provide alternative avenues for interaction, enabling team members to feel connected, share experiences, and support each other virtually. By integrating these technologies into their relationship-building strategies, organizations can create an engaging, inclusive, and positive workplace culture that transcends physical boundaries.

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