The Gallup workforce engagement survey has taken a lot of heat over the years for the question “I have a best friend at work.” Gallup explains that this question correlates closely with highly productive workplaces.
Many survey respondents balked at the question. Perhaps they had friends at work, but they were uncomfortable with the word “best.”
The problem seemed most acute with senior leaders. Leaders are used to remaining aloof, not to making friends at work.
So Gallup tinkered with the question, trying “close” friend or “good” friend. And the correlation between a positive response on the question and productivity vanished. Apparently, the most productive employees are willing to characterize at least one of the people they work with as a “best” friend – these relationships are part of belonging to a great work group.
Moreover, the “best” friend question also correlated with other aspects of a high-performing workplace: profitability, safety, inventory control, and – most notably –the emotional connection and loyalty of customers to the organization serving them.
Do you have a “best” friend at work? If so, have you told your colleague how much he or she means to you? Take a moment during this Thanksgiving week to express your gratitude to the people you work with.