The ROI of Business Friendships
Karen Salmansohn publishes a “Be Happy Dammit Tips” Newsletter. She quotes some fascinating statistics about the value of business friendships. For example:
– People with a best friend at work are seven times more likely to be engaged in their work.
– Close friendships at work boost employee satisfaction by nearly 50%.
– People with at least three close friends at work are 46% more likely to be extremely satisfied their job – and 88% more likely to be satisfied with their lives.
– Employees who are good friends with their bosses are more than twice as likely to be happy with their work.
The relevance of friendship is not new to the world of professional services. David Maister writes about friendship in his article titled Young Professionals: Cultivate the Habits of Friendship . He asserts, “The way most clients choose among professionals is essentially identical to the way people choose their friends. At the point of selecting a professional to work with, clients go with providers who can:
(a) make them feel at ease;
(b) make them feel comfortable sharing their fears and concerns;
(c) can be trusted to look after them as well as their transaction and (d) are dependably on their side.”
It seems logical to infer that clients who view you, their business advisor, as a friend are at least doubly more likely to be engaged in the work you do and be satisfied with the results you produce.
Take stock: how many clients can you call “friend”?
Andrea, Great post! Our society tends to believe that work stays at work, and personal is outside of that. It only makes sense that people like working with their friends. This is where real networking occurs.
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I think that our obsession with efficiency precludes taking time for friendship. Many folks thus become task oriented at the expense of personal orientation. It doesn’t have to be "either/or". It can be "both/and".