Monday, February 16, 2009

Friends Work At ~ Work!

As I’ve mentioned, the Gallup organization asked 10 million employees in 114 different countries twelve different questions. Each question helps explain the difference between engaged and actively disengaged employees.

The tenth question is: “Do you have a best friend at work”? The reason for asking is Gallup has found employees who have a best friend at work are 7 times more likely to be engaged than those who don’t!

This is an amazing statistic but if you think about it, it’s not really surprising…

We spend a majority of our time at work and who wouldn’t prefer working with a friend?

At Rideau, we go out of our way to promote a culture of friendship. We have a Rideau hockey team (we are very good, if I don’t say so myself) and an even better soccer team thanks to Beyas Bonde, our ringer who played on the Cameroon junior national team. (I hope the hockey players don’t read this or I’m toast!) My sons even want to start a Rideau poker team… but I’m not so sure about that!

We do a lot of other relationship building events. And these activities work…

Hamud Zaman has worked over 15 years at Rideau in our Admin department. Mylene Boetsch has worked in the same department for 6 years. Both of them play on our hockey team. Last year they married! And they’ve just had their first child… I told them I expect the middle name should be Rideau!

Having family and friends at Rideau has created an incredible caring culture.

We chip in when someone has a lot of work. We share each other’s burdens. We share each other’s joy.

And probably most important, we have lots of fun at work!

So no, I’m not surprised that having a best friend at work is a leading indicator of engagement. It has worked that way at Rideau for many years.

And oh, by the way, did I mention that Hamud’s sister Samra has worked at Rideau for the last 3 years?


Alex said...

Another benefit of having a friend working at the same company is the mentoring that occurs after the friend gets hired.

The veteran friend will usually contribute his personal time and energy to help out the new employee so that he/she integrates achieves success more rapidly.

It benefits the company but it's also a wonderful benefit for the new employee who gains tips and best practices quickly.

I speak from personal experience!!