Collaboration is one of The Motley Fool’s core values, so it’s not surprising that I see examples in motion everyday. For instance, Member Services Fools comprise a joint force, tackling tough questions daily to serve members’ needs. Tech Fools keep our sites up and running 24/7, and Foolish investors always strive to provide the best financial advice. I could keep these illustrations flowing, but there’s plenty of proof that teamwork is effective with synergy and a clear sense of understanding. Here at the Fool, we’re all working toward the same mission: To Help the World Invest – Better.
It’d be tough to argue against the idea that a workplace is more enjoyable when you’re surrounded by coworkers you appreciate and respect. After being here for nearly 3 years, I’ve noticed that the title of “Fool” typically spans beyond a basic description of “coworker.” Many of our employees share friendships outside of the office, from playing on a local softball team to hitting up concerts on the weekends. Though we’re a quickly growing company, Tom Gardner has challenged all Fools to know our fellow employees’ names. I know it’s not realistic for everyone to be best friends, but a more productive work environment is encouraged through positivity.
There’s an argument that close work relationships can be distracting, but how many projects would be unsuccessful if there weren’t some level of shared camaraderie? In 1997, university researchers set out to learn whether friendships improved team performance. They split students into groups of either close friends or acquaintances. The researchers discovered that “the friends outperformed the acquaintances in both instances. The reasons: friends were more committed to the projects at the outset, they communicated better while working and they gave their teammates free-flowing positive feedback.”
I’d be willing to bet that not much would change in terms of this study’s results today. The Motley Fool values our culture of trust, but sadly this belief doesn’t flow across all organizations. Some workplaces are strictly meant for work, making it difficult for friendships to even form. Trust leads to loyalty and if this equation also inspires friendship, that’s extra icing on the cake.
Where do you weigh in? Is the office for work or can friends be made there, too?