6 ways to encourage friendships at work illustration

6 Ways to Encourage Friendships at Work

You might think that your small business employees will spend a lot of time goofing off and gossiping if they’re friends with each other. Gallup, however, has found that workplace friendships benefit workers and their companies. People with friends at work are less likely to look for new job opportunities, more likely to enjoy what they do daily, and less likely to experience stress at work. Because of this, your team will be more engaged and productive. Read this article to learn six ways to encourage your employees to become friends with one another.

1. Use the buddy system

When you hire someone new, pair them up with a seasoned worker during onboarding to show them the ropes and answer any questions. Choose a buddy who is outgoing and friendly so they can comfortably introduce your new staff member to other people around the office. Your new hire will automatically feel like part of the team because they have a friend to turn to on day one.

Read also: A Step-by-Step Guide to New Hire Onboarding

2. Host team lunches

Bring lunch for the whole office once a month or host a regular potluck. When everyone sits down for lunch together, they’ll talk about non-work topics and friendships will start to form.

3. Hold offsite meetings

When you hold meetings at your office, you probably stick strictly to business. Occasionally, take your meetings offsite. Offsite meetings offer plenty of time to get work done, while also leaving time to get to know each other better.

Read also: 4 Tips for Holding an Effective Meeting

4. Organize monthly events

Organize monthly outings to encourage your whole office to get together after work for a new activity. One month you could go bowling, then go rock climbing the next month. Consider creating a committee to help plan each get-together. The committee members will spend a lot of time together, bonding and getting to know each other.

5. Play games

Team building games, like “Two Truths and a Lie” or “Circle of Questions,” get people talking to each other. Games help your staff learn what they have in common with their coworkers, which will encourage casual conversations throughout the day. Learn 10 team building ideas for your small business.

6. Model friendship

The best way to foster workplace relationships is to model friendship yourself. Take a real interest in your employees and get to know them. Your staff will follow your example.