|What was your reaction when the Florida co-workers shared their $1 million Powerball prize with a new team member, Jennifer Maldonaado, who chose not to go in with them on the ticket? I thought, “now that’s how you make a close friend at work.” I’m sure they are her close friends now.
Yes, it was heart-warming and a feel-good story. I got the sense these co-workers really liked each other. What was more impressive was that greed didn’t take over, which it often does.
A Close Friend at Work. At our company and in our consulting work, we often use the 12 questions Marcus Buckingham and Curt Coffman developed in their wonderful, ageless book First, Break All the Rules. They had done years of research for the Gallop organization on what makes a high-performing work culture.
They suggest that if your employees score your organization high on these 12 questions, you are likely moving in the right direction.
Do I know what is expected of me at work?
Do I have the materials and equipment I need to do my work right?
At work, do I have the opportunity to do what I do best every day?
In the last seven days, have I received recognition or praise for doing good work?
Does my supervisor, or someone at work, seem to care about me as a person?
Is there someone at work who encourages my development?
At work, do my opinions seem to count?
Does the mission/purpose of my company make me feel my job is important?
Are my co-workers committed to doing quality work?
Do I have a best friend at work?
In the last six months, has someone at work talked to me about my progress?
This last year, have I had opportunities at work to learn and grow?
When we survey employees using these questions the question that always scores the lowest is “Do I have a best friend at work?” Most employees everywhere score this low. Since we coach leaders and those in supervisory positions not to get too close to the people you supervise, we don’t usually worry about lower scores on this question.
While we don’t know whether the Powerball winning team performs at a very high level, we know they are close and care about each other. My guess is that they have a wonderful work culture.
So maybe we should change the “best friend” question in future surveys to, “If you and your coworkers win Powerball together, would you share the winnings with someone who didn’t buy-in?” I know that is the kind of team I would want to work with; how about you?