Do you have a best friend at work? This question elicits pause, but it is also a question that reveals one of the foundational characteristics of a highly productive workgroup. According to Gallup research, there are 12 key factors that describe great workgroups. One of these relates to the quality of the relationships we have with co-workers. Employees who report having a best friend, or a coworker to share a quality relationship with are:
- 37% more likely to report that someone at work encourages their development
- 27% more likely to report that the mission of their company makes them feel their job is important
- 21% more likely to report that at work, they have the opportunity to do what they do best every day
Here are some suggestions that can foster quality relationships between coworkers. Best of all, these relationship-building activities can be done during lunch hour. Take a break, enjoy each other’s company, and get to know the people you work with over a meal.
Buddy Lunch: Pair a new employee with an older staff member to have an informal one-on-one lunch at a nearby eatery. Use this time to take a walk and bond by sharing a meal in a casual environment.
Themed Potlucks: Once a month, SGA holds an hour long meeting to reflect upon working developments. After some critical conversations, each SGA staff brings in a dish to share. The conversation continues all the way into clean-up time where we tag team to do the dishes. Teamwork and funny conversations naturally develop over Alphabet, Prediction, Campfire, and Smelly Food-themed potlucks.
Salons: Recognize that each and every employee has passions and pursuits outside of work. Take a lunch break to have an open forum to share and cross-pollinate new ideas. As examples, one SGAer shared her experience surviving the Eastern Sierra wilderness in the winter. Another SGAer shared the lessons he learned as a Peace Corps Volunteer in Panama.
This Valentine’s Day, nurture and celebrate all relationships, but especially ones within the workplace. Take initiative to build a stronger work community.