Do you have a best friend at work? It might just be the secret to happiness and success.
My son joined the Navy last year, and this Thanksgiving, he didn’t have enough leave to come home. So, we traveled up to see him for the holiday as a family.
We stayed in a hotel and ate our Thanksgiving meal at a local restaurant.
It wasn’t ideal, but at least we were together.
On Saturday, we were all invited to a party. One of my son’s shipmates also had family in town. His family had rented an entire house for the holiday and invited a dozen sailors from the base for drinks and a traditional Cuban meal.
That night was the first time I saw my son interacting with his closest Navy buddies.
The laughter, jokes, smiles, and friendship were all very familiar. I recognized them from my own time in the Navy.
Seeing my son surrounded by friends that loved him and loved being around him made me extremely happy as a father.
It was the first time since he left for the Navy that I knew he had found his place.
He belonged to a special group, and I knew he would be successful in his Navy career.
I knew it because I could see his deep friendships.
There is an African Proverb that says, “if you want to go fast, go alone. If you want to go far, go together.”
Having friends at work is a powerful indicator of happiness and success.Having friends at work is a powerful indicator of happiness and success. Click To Tweet
How do I know? It certainly has been the case throughout my career and it was also one of the findings in my favorite leadership book.
First, Break All the Rules: What the World’s Greatest Managers Do Differently was written by Marcus Buckingham and Curt Coffman. Buckingham and Coffman were Gallup analysts when they wrote this book. They drew upon 25 years of Gallup studies of 80,000 managers across 400 companies.
One of their conclusions was that solid personal relationships signify a positive workplace.Solid personal relationships signify a positive workplace. Click To Tweet
Employees who could identify that they had close friends at work were more likely to be happy and successful in their careers.
The reasons are pretty straightforward.
When things are going great, you have friends to celebrate the moments.
In the tough times, friends will be there to help you get through.
Close friends watch out for you and have your back to ensure no one can come after you.
They support your crazy ideas and help make them a reality.
They are a shoulder to cry on and a hand to high five when you hit your goals.
Why do we need friends at work? Having close friends at work leads to happiness and success.
As leaders, we need to foster an atmosphere where friendships can form and thrive. It’s both good for employees and the overall performance of the business.
[US Navy Photo]