Do you have a best friend at work?
Posted by Amy Wilson on July 10, 2009
This is 1 of 12 engagement questions Gallup asks to predict business performance. It’s the quirkiest of all the questions and it also tends to be the most polarizing. HR and Business Leaders alike ask: “What does this have to do with anything?” “Are we in middle school?”
According to the February 2008 Gallup Management Journal:
Gallup itself would have dropped the statement if not for one stubborn fact: it predicts performance. Something about a deep sense of affiliation with the people in an employee’s team drives him to do positive things for the business he otherwise would not do.
The use of the word “best” often trips people up. Why not just ask about friends? Interestingly, the simple word “best” conveys an underlying meaning of trust and support. Anyone can be a friend, but only those that you care for and rely on will provide a sense of belonging and drive.
Personally speaking, I heartily agree. I have always had best friends at work. And, considering I’ve only left one employer (and that was to go to a company with “people” in the title), I’d say it’s a pretty good indicator of retention. Over my career, best friends have given me a reason to go to work in the morning, provided a safe environment in which to bounce ideas, and indulged me with both personal and big picture encouragement.
How about you – do you have best friends at work?