Thursday, July 10, 2008

Tom Rath's Gallop Findings

Tom Rath (2006) reported in his book Vital Friends: The People You Can't Afford to Live Without that there are eight vital roles that friends play in helping employees succeed:

  • Builders (those who motivate you to achieve more)
  • Champions (those loyalists who stand up for you)
  • Collaborators (those with similar interests)
  • Companion (those classic friends who you call
    first with your news)
  • Connectors (those who introduce you to others)
  • Energizers (those who give you a boost when
    you’re down)
  • Mind-openers (those who expand your horizons)
  • Navigators (those who you go to for advice)
In 2007, he spoke to the crowd at ASTD about the findings that each of us are more likely to stay in our jobs and with our organizations if we have more than 5 friends at work. So what does this all mean to the workplace leader. Here in the USA where our workplace culture asks us to be task oriented and not relationship oriented, to be objective or rather not subjective, to focus on return on investment and competition.. maybe we are missing a major lesson. Competition, return on investment, and being good at our tasks are critical to success, but creating a culture where employees can build and foster friendships may be the different in having a sustainable engaged workforce. Using the eight types of friends listed above, ask yourself what your are doing to create a workplace culture that encourages these types of relationships. Look at everything.. for example:

Does your system of giving raises and bonuses encourage or discourage employees to take on these roles?
Does the funding priorities set by you create opportunities for these friendships to emerge?

It is very revealing.. For example, leaders are pushing training more and more to distant mediums to save costs these days... I'm not convinced we can develop the friendships we need without some time face to face...

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