Can Software Make People Like Each Other?
Friendships Boost Performance
Do you have any “good” friends who work with you? Thirty years ago, about half of you would have answered yes. Today, that number has dropped to about 25 percent. It’s not that we don’t like the people we work with (per se), it’s that we don’t have the close relationships with them we once had. Why does this matter?
Whether you’re in HR, operations or manage a team at work, the more you can bring your people together, the more effective your team will be. An interesting study in the Journal of Personality and Social Psychology found “friendship groups performed significantly better than acquaintance groups on both decision-making and motor tasks because of a greater degree of group commitment and cooperation.”
It’s true—when we are committed to others, support each other and are held accountable, we simply do better. This concept translates to other areas of our lives, too. In one study, researchers found that the adults who were assigned to weight loss groups with their friends lost 6.5 pounds more, trimmed an extra 25 percent from their waists and saw greater blood pressure improvement than the adults who were not assigned to any group. Friends really do matter.
Friendships Build A Team
Team management software can be a great way to not only manage a team, but bring the entire team together, at least virtually, in one place. It doesn’t require everyone to be in the same office or work the same hours, but gives everyone a quick way to find others and learn a little more about them.
Gone are the days of the static org chart that simply showed a diagram of names and titles. Today’s online org chart is interactive, fun to use and infinitely more interesting than a PowerPoint or Visio based org chart.
Did you know today’s org chart software allows users to:
- See names, photos and personal details of every employee
- Divide employees into teams based on job function or any other collaborative duty
- Segment people based on personal traits, such as interests, skill set, college attended, even pets owned
- Search for people by name, title, department, job function, skill, team, office location, and more
- Receive updates on important team news, such as birthdays, offsites, new hires, and vacations
- Engage with the software from mobile devices so they have the entire company directory at their fingertips
Friendships Drive Commitment
Using technology to bring people together isn’t new. Look at the success of social media. In 2016, 78 percent of the U.S. population have a social media profile, representing a five percent growth compared to last year. The number of worldwide social media users is at nearly 2 billion and is expected to grow to 2.5 billion by 2018. We all seek social interaction, even if it’s virtual.
A full 70 percent of us would say having friends at work is the most crucial element to a happy working life. As a business leader, you may be surprised to know that 50 percent of employees say working with a best friend at work makes them feel a strong connection with their company. Relationships, it seems, are the difference between just going to work and killin’ it at work.
Friendships Build Loyalty
I’m not suggesting that software will make all of your employees best friends. It can, however, go a long way to help people get to know each other on more than a first name basis. Even that can be a challenge for larger or geographically dispersed companies. Software can especially help companies who desperately need to build team collaboration amongst employees who may never physically work in the same location. Instead of just calling “John Smith in marketing,” a remote worker is calling John, “the dude who has a man-bun, rocks social media marketing, and moonlights as a stand-up comedian on the weekends.”
By enabling employees to add personal details to their profiles and making the information available and accessible to the entire company 24x7x365, people begin to see things they have in common with one another; things they find interesting about each other. It humanizes a job title and puts a little context around a picture. It helps people strike up a conversation with someone they may have never before had a reason to stop in the hallway to chat about being a Longhorn grad.
Give your employees every opportunity to discover connections between each other. It won’t happen overnight and it won’t be a total love fest, but it can help boost morale, productivity, job satisfaction and loyalty.
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