Employee Experience

Why having friends at work is key to business success

Starting a new job can be scary and overwhelming. There are so many people to meet and get to know. Hopefully, as employees grow with your company, they’ll meet people they like and enjoy spending time with. Having friends at work can significantly impact your team, so we’re here to help you support your employees in building these key connections.

Gallup’s Q12 Survey and Having Friends at Work

When you think about connecting your employees, you have to understand how important it is. For example, Gallup, a leading company in employee engagement, talks a lot about the importance of friends at work. As a result, having friends at work made it into their Q12 employee engagement survey.

Question 10 of their survey reads, “I have a best friend at work.”

Gallup shares:

Globally, three in 10 employees strongly agree that they have a best friend at work. By moving that ratio to six in 10, organizations could realize 28% fewer safety incidents, 5% higher customer engagement scores and 10% higher profit.


How to Encourage Friendships at Work

So, now that you understand why you should encourage friendships, let’s talk about how to make it happen for your staff members. Being a friendship matchmaker can feel awkward, but so is trying to make friends with colleagues on one’s own. Your employees would love some direction from management to help them build these relationships.

1. Introduce Potential Hires to Employees Early

First, you want to introduce candidates to their potential colleagues as early as you can. There are a couple of ways to make this happen for your employees:

  • Highlight your team on your company’s career page.
  • Bring in employees throughout the interview process.
  • Invite employees to join you at career fairs or recruitment events.

You want potential employees to be able to feel your company’s culture before they sign on with your organization. Potential workers may even make a friend before they start orientation.

2. Use a Cohort Model During Onboarding

Onboarding can be a lonely process, especially if you are doing it alone. The best companies use a cohort model to onboard new hires. Cohorts are groups of new hires who go through the process at the same time. With this form of onboarding, your employees can make friends instantly because they are all working together to get to know the organization.

3. Encourage Employees to Get To Know Colleagues Throughout Their Tenure

After onboarding is complete, you have to continue to nudge employees in the right direction. Encourage employees to take time to get to know their colleagues.

You could even create a monthly calendar reminder to nudge employees you manage to get to know their team members.

On top of that, create some interesting optional events that help employees make friends, like coworking hours or monthly meet and greets.

4. Create Communal Spaces at Your Office

If you’re trying to create office friendships, what does your office look like? Is it closed off and dark? Are there spaces for employees to gather without getting in the way of their teammates? Your office space needs to be conducive to friendships if you want them to form.

  • Create larger spaces where groups of employees can gather.
  • Add light in by painting the walls a bright color and keeping windows uncovered so the communal spaces are pleasant to be in.
  • Soundproof the offices or areas where people gather, so workers don’t feel bad about the noise they might make.

5. Create Employee Resource Groups for Cross-Departmental Connections

Employee resource groups are a great cross-departmental experience for workers. People who participate in ERGs get to meet new and exciting people they may never have heard of due to departmental silos.

If you want to expand the friendship possibilities at work, creating an ERG is the perfect project for your business. Are you unsure of how to market, manage, and measure these programs? Check out Workrowd to see if we can help you host your company’s employee resource groups.

6. Include ‘Get To Know You’ Time During Meetings

Meetings are an essential part of internal communications for companies. Unfortunately, many organizations have established meeting agendas that get straight to the point. Ultimately, this misses a huge opportunity: get to know you time.

Meetings are more effective when everyone around the table trusts each other. Some organizations are missing this core component, but they don’t have to stay that way.

Start each meeting with a 5- to 10-minute ‘get to know you’ game. These quick games can help employees get to know different organization members and find employees they might have something in common with.

7. Introduce Employees You Think Would Like Each Other

Are you finding you need to be a bit more hands-on with employee friendships? Sometimes the best thing you can do is to make an introduction.

As a company leader, you know a lot of people in the organization. You probably have a couple of people in mind who should meet each other. Don’t be afraid to broker the connection.

Create a group chat with the employees who need to meet each other. Write a simple message like:

“Hi {Employee A},

I was talking with {Employee B} about {whatever you were talking about}. It reminded me of a conversation we had not too long ago about this exact topic. I thought you might like one more person in the company to talk to about this. I think you two will get along well!

A simple introduction should do the trick, and it will open up some incredible workplace friendships based on a shared experience, trait, or like/dislike.

8. Showcase the Friendships You’ve Made at Work

Last but not least, model what great workplace relationships look like. Share the details of your favorite workplace friendships and encourage employees to find friendships that matter to them.

Encourage other workplace leaders to share their friendship stories with their direct reports and colleagues as well.

As more leaders begin talking about workplace friendships, having friends at work will become even easier for your organization.

Conclusion: Help Your Team Members Develop Workplace Friendships

Your team members deserve to have fantastic workplace friendships. One of the hardest parts about being an adult is making friends. Work gives people a chance to meet and bond with others. As a company leader, it’s your job to help facilitate these connections so that employees can genuinely say they have a best friend at work.

Are you interested in seeing if Workrowd can help you create workplace friendships? Send us an email at to learn more.

1 reply on “Why having friends at work is key to business success”

Hopefully, you were able to get good notes. By having a dedicated note-taker during the meeting, you ll be able to easily reference action points and get your plans in gear. Follow up immediately while things are fresh to keep the momentum rolling, writes Business Made Simple. By keeping your meeting solution-oriented, you can start taking steps to implement your chosen solutions. Workrowd believes that even if you don t settle on a single solution, narrowing down your options is still a win. Because you took good notes, you ll want to get the meeting summary to those that need them. This can take many forms: a direct copy of the note-taker s notes, a simple summary paragraph or bulleted list, or a recording if the meeting was virtual.

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