As per a Gallup report, close work friendships boost employee satisfaction by 50% and people with a best friend at work are seven times more likely to engage fully in their work. You are most likely going to become friends with someone who you work day in day out with.
Friendships are the best way to engage an employee but instead of having forced friendships, the organization or better, the HR should create an environment where the employees can interact with each other without having any work-related reasons.
This could be done through various engagement activities like having monthly potlucks or lunches, or parties, or through more innovative means like having to switch places with a department personnel for a day or learn a language from a colleague who has a different mother tongue.
This way, you not only introduce two people who work together who may not know each other in personal capacity but also to get to know them differently. It can be more than “that guy from Finance” but rather be “Ron, who speaks Hungarian very well”. There is always more to your organization than simple profit and loss. It is about creating value and sharing value with your customers and employees.
Same goes for people, they are not simple headcount on the employee master, but rather people who spend majority of their waking hours at a place. Friendships create a zeal to be in office, to have tea or coffee or a chat at the water cooler. It makes coming to office, more than just about work.
Simply put, people are happier to work with their friends in an organization. Create avenues where employees can mingle with each other and become more than just their work mail ids.