Customer Experience News & Trends

Foster friendships or keep employees at task?

Should you encourage friendships at work? Or are you better off making sure your people keep their noses to the grindstone?

Let them yuck it up. That’s right. People who have friends at work are more productive than those who don’t. And you can’t scoff at this research.

Gallup Management wanted to drop this statement from its well-known workplace survey Q-12: “Do you have a best friend at work?” But the responses to the question predicted performance time after time. People who socialize with others at work are better performers for their employer.

So foster friendships among your contact center professionals with these ideas:

  1. Give them time together. Plan periodic meals (breakfast before work, potluck lunches, pizza Fridays, etc.) and arrange schedules so as many people as possible can break bread together.
  2. Put like with like. One call center leader invited employees to form social committees. They created an “exercise group,” “breakfast club,”  “book club,” plus many more. The exercisers organized and advertised weekend hikes, bike rides, soccer and softball games. The breakfast club took donations to keep coffee and pastries in the office for people too rushed to fuel up before work. The book club met on lunch breaks to discuss recent reads.
  3. Foster growth. Post a bulletin board with information on local adult classes – such as those at community colleges, gyms, art studios, etc. – and encourage employees to get involved. If possible, help fund their classes.

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