There’s a great @HBR blog post today written by University of Kentucky management professor Christine M. Riordan about workplace friendships. It basically says that workers are happiest at work when they have friendships with co-workers.  Riordan* references Gallup’s recent findings that link close work friendships to a 50% increase in employee satisfaction. Riordan notes companies like Google, DaVita, Dropbox, and Southwest that view camaraderie as a competitive advantage.

“Companies can and should create and value camaraderie as a competitive advantage for recruiting top employees, retaining employees, and improving engagement, creativity, and productivity.”

Riordan presents some of the values to the employees AND employers based on workplace friendships including:

  • Camaraderie leading to a common sense of purpose and the mentality that we are in-it together
  • Group loyalty and trust
  • Shared sense of company vision and mission
  • Shared commitment to and discipline toward work

I’ve added a few of my own:

  • Uninhibited brainstorming leading to creativity and innovation
  • Support for one another to meet deadlines and blow away customers
  • Help in navigating life’s inevitable challenges and reducing unhealthy coping strategies and workplace safety issues


Consistent with Riordan’s blog post but focused specifically on GenY, YouEarnedIt has started to conduct video interviews with people under 30 asking them one question: “What does ‘Happiness at Work’ mean to you?” We’ve already heard several times that a social connection and friendship with co-workers is a top factor in their overall happiness at work as seen in our first :60 second YouTube video with the cohort:


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We’re excited to learn more about the topic of workplace friendships and look forward to sharing our findings. Please check out our YouTube page where we’ll be posting more interviews and content related to employee engagement, employee recognition, and happiness at work.

Happy 4th of July!


*Source: We All Need Friends at Work





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Tim Ryan