Do you have a work best friend?

Do your employees have a work best friend? If the answer is no, you may be risking decreased productivity, a lack of passion and less loyalty to your business.

Research conducted by Gallup and a joint study by management professors at the University of Pennsylvania and the University of Minnesota indicate that workplace friendships are one of the strongest predictors of productivity.

In the joint study, researchers asked groups of acquaintances and groups of friends to complete two different assignments: a decision-making project involving collaborative brainstorming and a model-building task consisting of repetitive manual labor.

Friends wiped the floor with acquaintances in both tasks. Researchers concluded that friends were more committed to the project from the on-set, communicated better and offered encouragement to the team.

These are all qualities we want from our co-workers and from our employees: people invested in the work they are doing who are willing to assist others.

Friendships in the dealership may seem like a distraction or an enemy of efficiency. However, the research proves that it may be your business's best weapon to increase productivity.

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When you are thinking about how to motivate employees or encourage brand loyalty, the best way to achieve this may be to allow your work force to be friends. Those friendships aren’t formed while talking shop: they occur organically when two people share anecdotes and concerns from their lives outside of work and are vulnerable with each other.

You can’t force your employees to be friends but you can avoid getting in the way of connections. If your employees take a minute from their work to discuss their personal lives or swap stories while completing a joint project, don’t assume they are distracted ­– they are likely building relationships that will ultimately aid in increasing their focus on the job. Step back and see how friendships naturally blossom in the workplace, and how those friendships in turn improve employee morale and overall job satisfaction.

Although, if you do want to promote bonding between co-workers and provide opportunities for friendships to grow, what better way than an employee day on the water?

Read more here on the importance of workplace friendships and how they could be beneficial to your business.

Do you have employees with a workplace friend? Do you have one yourself? Tell us more about how it affects your workday.

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