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Social Connectedness

Why Employers Care

Social connectedness, which encompasses supportive positive relationships and social belonging, is not only necessary for well-being, but it is also one of the strongest predictors.1,2 Evidence indicates that as people spend more time socializing, their life satisfaction and overall happiness increase.3

Social connectedness is important for employers to take note of, because friendships among employees can promote positive business outcomes. According to research, people who have a best friend at work:4

  • Have higher overall well-being;
  • Are seven times more likely to be engaged in their jobs;
  • Are better at engaging customers;
  • Produce higher quality work; and
  • Are less likely to get injured on the job.

What Can Employers Do?

Data indicate that promoting relationships among colleagues is an area for improvement among employers; just 30% of employees report that they have a best friend at work, and only 5% of surveyed employees strongly agree that their organization helps them build stronger personal relationships.5,6

Employers can help employees develop better social connections through:

  • Program design;
  • Job design;
  • Workplace modification; and
  • Organized activities.

References (show references)

1 Rath T, Harter JK. Wellbeing: The five essential elements. NY: Gallup Press; 2010.

2 Diener E, Seligman M. Beyond money toward an economy of well-being. Psychological Science in the Public Interest. 2004;5(1):1-31

3 Rath T, Harter JK. Wellbeing: The five essential elements. NY: Gallup Press; 2010.

4 Ibid.

5 Ibid.

6 Gallup. The business case for wellbeing. Accessed July 8, 2015.

Page last updated: May 2, 2016

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