Camaraderie at Workplace: A necessity, or just a good-to-have factor?
The Cambridge dictionary has defined the word “Camaraderie” as “A friendly feeling toward people with whom you share an experience or with whom you work”.
The word “Camaraderie” is an axiom to occupations such as the Army and Sports where there is a high level of unity & one-ness amongst the group. Lt. Col. Tom Vance has called it “A powerful mission multiplier”. He goes on to say that “Camaraderie is the essence of what binds military units together, providing a cohesiveness among the individual members, which allows the unit to function effectively as a collective entity.”
Is this kind of camaraderie possible at the workplace? Burchell & Robin quote “Camaraderie is when people believe their co-workers see them as complete individuals, with families and hobbies and passions outside of work, when they have fun, and they celebrate both personal and company milestones. They see themselves as a large team, and they go out of their way to cooperate and help.”
To establish a culture of natural camaraderie there is a directed approach that an organization must partake. If people merely show up to office, do what their role requires and leave without much interaction, then whilst the work may get done, there will still remain a void for a sustained long-term success of the organization.
Gallup’s State of the Global Workplace: 2022 Report: “Whether employees are stressed because of work, or their stress is carrying over into work, one thing is clear: The world’s employees are feeling even more stressed than they did in 2020 (the previous all-time high). The report also found that, while workplace wellbeing is stable, it’s not very good overall. Only 21% of employees are engaged at work, and just 33% are thriving in their overall wellbeing. However, friendships at work can be sources of strong personal and professional support that can help boost an employee’s spirit and appreciation.
To enable an environment of building open, trustworthy work relationships, merely introducing collaboration tools over the intranet or other tech enabled features will prove futile. Organizations need to make way for human interactions as much as possible. Platforms for in-person social interactions should be created, wins should be celebrated, forums for knowledge sharing should be built, forums to learn from loses should be built and network clubs to be curated. Additionally, encouraging a culture of open conversation & feedback should be promoted.
Just as the long-term success to any relationship is based on trust, mutual respect and open communication, so is the case for the long-term success of an organization. Increased productivity, reduced stress, increased job satisfaction and increased risk-taking appetite are all accentuated many folds in this kind of a safe environment.