Harness the power of Social Capital rather than fight against it.
- We’re all looking for community, create it at work.
- The average person spends 81,396 hours at work.
- Friendship at work isn’t an accident.
- Data shows that having a best friend at work is strongly linked to business outcomes
- Leaders must create the environment where friendship can grow.
- How do you encourage growth in the business when half your workforce is working remotely?
- Define Social Capital, Human Capital, and Financial Capital?
You’ve probably heard about the loneliness epidemic. According to the World Health Organization, a third of people surveyed worldwide report that they don’t feel satisfied with their relationships. The effects of curtailing the spread of COVID-19 during the height of the pandemic have brought these issues of loneliness into the forefront of business culture.
We’re all looking for community, create it at work.
We’re all looking for community and that’s true at work, too. As a business leader and as an individual, you want to feel connected with others in your organization. You want to be understood, accepted and valued for who you are. Most importantly, you want to belong somewhere. Creating social capital is about creating these types of relationships within the workplace so that employees feel part of something bigger than themselves.
The average person spends 81,396 hours at work.
Imagine you work a 9-5 job. You’re at your desk, staring at a computer screen with only yourself for company. Suddenly, there is a knock on your office door. You look up and see one of your colleagues standing there smiling at you with a cup of coffee in hand.
As they walk into the room they greet you warmly “Hey Joe! How’s it going?” They sit down across from you and ask how things are going on your end? Before long, the two of you are chatting about everything from work life balance to their favorite TV show. This could easily be considered an example of social capital within business relationships, because we see two people forming genuine friendships based on common interests outside the workplace environment itself – something which would not have happened if either party had been isolated throughout their workday without any social interaction whatsoever!
The point here is: People spend more time at work than they do with their families – so why wouldn’t they develop friendships there? The workplace environment is arguably one of our most socially interactive settings; where else could we interact closely with other people for extended periods each week without feeling bored or lonely?
Friendship at work isn’t an accident.
Friendship at work is not an accident. People spend upwards of 40 hours a week at the office, so it’s natural that they would want to make friends there. It’s also important to note that friendships at work are very important to people; in fact, research has shown that employees who feel connected with their coworkers are more productive and satisfied than those who don’t.
Data shows that having a best friend at work is strongly linked to business outcomes
Let’s get one thing straight: having a best friend at work is not a shortcut to success. It’s not a magical potion or the key to unlocking some kind of secret chamber beneath the building where you’ll find all of your company’s secrets.
But data shows that having a best friend at work is strongly linked to business outcomes, including improvements in profitability, safety, inventory control, and employee retention. So how can you harness this power for yourself?
First and foremost, create an environment where friendship can grow. If you want people to be friends (or just friendly), give them space and time together — it will help them forge stronger bonds than if they’re always competing against each other for resources like money or clients or recognition from higher-ups. Make sure workers have opportunities for one-on-one conversations rather than group meetings whenever possible; encourage collaboration between people who might normally be rivals; offer rewards for employees who make time for others’ needs before their own—all these things will foster friendships between colleagues and make everyone more productive as well as happier in their roles at your company!
Leaders must create the environment where friendship can grow.
In order for your organization to harness the power of social capital, you must create an environment where friendship can grow. This means creating a culture of trust, respect, collaboration, inclusion and fun.
- Trust: In order for people to feel comfortable around each other they need to know they will be treated fairly and with respect by others who have similar interests or goals as themselves. If this is not present in an organization then it can result in conflict and low productivity – especially when there are multiple departments involved within one company (such as IT vs Marketing). When there is no trust between groups then communication becomes more difficult because people don’t share information freely which makes it harder to work towards common goals together as part of a team rather than individually alone on their own tasks at hand instead.
- Respect: In addition to fostering collaboration between teams within organizations we also need respect for one another outside those immediate relationships as well; even if someone doesn’t belong within our circle yet still deserves basic human dignity from us regardless what their job title might be or how much money they make per year (if any at all!).
How do you encourage growth in the business when half your workforce is working remotely?
The answer lies in the form of social capital.
Social capital is the glue that binds people together, and friendship is its foundation. Social capital is a form of human capital—the intangible benefits gained from interacting with others—and it can have profound effects on an organization’s financial performance. According to Harvard Business School professor Sebastian Thrun, founder of Udacity and Google X: “The investment into these friendships and communities has been shown to be a very powerful tool for improving productivity by building networks, reducing stress levels (i.e., burnout), increasing job satisfaction and engagement.”
In particular, he cites research from Stanford University showing that managers who are more socially connected are able to achieve higher sales targets than their less-connected peers because they can draw on the power of their social circles to get things done faster than those without such connections would be able to do independently or through traditional channels like emailing/calling other employees directly within their organization as well as outside it (e.g., reaching out through LinkedIn).
The first step is creating a culture where friendship can grow. According to Dr. William H. White and Dr. James M. Houston, friendship is an essential component of effective teams; it also leads to increased motivation and productivity among employees who have formed close relationships with one another.
If your company doesn’t already encourage friendships, you might consider implementing a hybrid or blended work environment that allows employees from different departments and levels to mingle more regularly (such as having lunch together every day). In addition, offer opportunities for people at all levels within your organization—from interns through senior management—to make friends at work by organizing events like karaoke nights or happy hours on Fridays after work!
Finally, learn how to leverage a culture of friendship and collaboration within your organization: encourage collaboration between departments so everyone feels included in decision-making processes; promote open communication among staff members using email chains rather than memos alone; remind yourself daily why each person works so hard for this company because they want something good out there in return!
Define Social Capital, Human Capital, and Financial Capital?
Social capital is the glue that holds society together. It’s the trust, norms, and networks of relationships that help us to return favors, build community and resolve conflicts peacefully.
Human capital refers to our unique set of skills and abilities that help us to achieve our goals in life. These can be learned through education or training programs (e.g., “customer service training”) but also through experiences outside of the classroom (e.g., “learning how people respond when I solve their problems on a personal level”).
Financial capital refers to all types of assets – from cash in your bank account to stocks in your portfolio – as well as debt liabilities owed by others (e.g., mortgages).
Companies that focus on improving employee happiness will in turn see their businesses thrive.
We live in an age where our smartphones are constantly connected to the internet, and we have the ability to connect with people on a global scale. Yet, despite these advantages, loneliness is on the rise. We’re more connected than ever before but feeling more isolated than ever before too.
Loneliness affects 8% of people in any given year and can increase your risk of heart disease by 26%. It also costs society €660 Million per year (according to RTE) in health care expenses, so there is a huge financial incentive for companies to invest in creating an environment that encourages their employees to build stronger relationships both at work and outside of it.
The key here is taking advantage of social capital: how you build trust, share knowledge and work together towards common goals as part of your organization—all while having fun doing it!
The importance of social capital is something that we’re seeing more and more people talk about these days. Companies should be cultivating a culture that encourages friendship, collaboration, and camaraderie among their employees.
For example, we recently spoke with a major technology company whose leadership recognized the importance of social capital in fostering an environment where people feel valued and connected. They created a program where new hires were paired with older employees who could guide them through the challenges of their first year on the job. This mentorship system not only helped new hires acclimate to the culture at this company but also gave them friends for life!
There are many ways to encourage friendship in the workplace. The key is to create an environment where people can be themselves and build relationships, which will ultimately lead them to be more productive and fulfilled at work.