Maybe this is the only one of the Top 12 Motivators that isn’t always simple and easy to address in the workplace. In fact, one of the difficult challenges for first time managers is having to accept that they shouldn’t aim to be “everyone’s friend” at the expense of getting the job done.
That said, there are at least three things that we can aim to provide in the workplace:
- For new starters, a designated “buddy” who will be available for the first few days and weeks to help them find their way around. “Hold their hands until they find their feet” as one of my colleagues once put it!
- For the “rising stars” (and the owner or Chief Exec) an experienced mentor who can act as a sounding board and ask the right questions
- Regular, honest face-to-face feedback – providing in an open, professional manner some of the benefits of a “critical friend”. In other words, being prepared to challenge and to question, in the long-term interests of the other person.
So maybe we can’t literally be, or provide, a “best friend” at work, but there’s a lot that we can do in an organisation to provide many of the positive benefits of a “best friend”. And it’s also a great motivator for those taking on the role of the buddy, the mentor and the “Critical Friend”!