Work friendships could be what gets you through the next recession, according to new research


We all know the feeling of being new and seeking a sense of belonging in a foreign environment, especially when starting at a new school or company. Recent research conducted by the Achievers Workforce Institute (AWI) revealed that having strong workplace relationships is a crucial factor in predicting resilience and productivity. 

Employees who reported that their company supports them in building relationships at work are three times more likely to report high organizational resilience and productivity. As employers scramble to build a recession-proof workforce, they should not overlook low-cost initiatives that build workplace belonging. Feeling at home in one's workplace is the ultimate goal, and AWI's research shows that this can be achieved when employees feel welcomed, known, included, supported, and connected. 

However, establishing belonging strategically and tactically is increasingly challenging, especially for dispersed workforces. Encouraging workplace connections, beyond just workspace, fosters employee belonging. Strong workplace friendships are closely correlated with belonging, but companies must embed it in their values to make it a priority for everyone. Prioritizing employee connections boosts productivity, elevates the employer brand, and creates an attractive culture for current and potential employees. Even amid budget cuts and uncertainty, organizations that prioritize employee connections will come out on top.

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