Survival of the Fittest or Friendliest – Who Wins? - American Society of Employers - Mary E. Corrado

Of Interest…

Survival of the Fittest or Friendliest – Who Wins?

Over the past several years, I’ve noticed a considerable shift in how people treat each other in everyday society.  I’ve seen many more personal attacks and a general lack of respect for others’ beliefs or feelings. In the past, these thoughts were kept private, but in recent times it seems everyone feels compelled to lash out at others with no remorse. It seems to go beyond “Survival of the Fittest” to “Survival of the Meanest.”

In a recent article in Chief Executive, Miles Nadal, the visionary founder of Peerage Capital, challenges the conventional concept of “survival of the fittest.” Nadal argues that cultivating strong relationships and fostering a culture of friendliness are not just moral imperatives but essential strategies for thriving in today's competitive business environment. I agree.

Nadal offers some practical advice for fostering a culture of friendliness within organizations:

  1. Be Courteous: He emphasizes the importance of courtesy, suggesting that kindness and respect should extend beyond client interactions to encompass all colleagues. Small gestures of kindness can have a profound impact on workplace dynamics.
  2. Network: CEOs and other leaders should encourage senior team members to build connections outside the organization, thereby broadening perspectives and nurturing a network of allies.
  3. Hire Beyond Hard Skills: Nadal recommends prioritizing interpersonal skills when hiring. Candidates who excel at collaboration and community engagement are invaluable assets in promoting a culture of friendliness and cooperation.

The concept of "survival of the friendliest" offers a refreshing perspective on achieving success in the workplace. It's not just about climbing the ladder alone but about building bridges and fostering meaningful relationships along the way – both internally and externally.  Your workplace will benefit from a culture of friendliness in many ways:

  1. Boosts morale: A friendly work environment fosters positivity, leading to higher employee satisfaction and morale.
  2. Enhances collaboration: When employees feel comfortable and valued, they are more likely to collaborate effectively, share ideas, and work together towards common goals.
  3. Improves communication: Friendliness promotes open communication channels, encouraging employees to express themselves freely and share feedback constructively.
  4. Reduces conflict: A culture of friendliness cultivates mutual respect and understanding, minimizing conflicts and promoting a harmonious workplace atmosphere.
  5. Increases productivity: Engaged and happy employees are more motivated and productive, leading to better overall performance and business results.

Organizations can promote a culture of friendliness by:

  1. Leading by example: Executives and managers should demonstrate friendliness and kindness in their interactions with employees and colleagues. This sets a positive tone and encourages others to follow suit.
  2. Encouraging team-building activities: Organize regular team-building exercises, social events, and community service initiatives that bring employees together in a relaxed and friendly environment. This helps strengthen bonds and fosters a sense of camaraderie among team members.
  3. Providing opportunities for recognition and appreciation: Establish formal and informal mechanisms for acknowledging and appreciating employees' efforts and achievements. Whether it's through verbal praise, written notes, or employee recognition programs, showing gratitude and appreciation promotes a culture of friendliness and mutual respect within the organization.

At ASE we hold regular team building activities – some during work, some after hours.  It helps us build camaraderie amongst ourselves and across teams. In addition, I allot time during each all-staff meeting for recognition of accomplishments and to share compliments staff have received from our members.

As Nadal aptly puts it, executing a culture of friendliness requires commitment, focus, and consistency, but the rewards are well worth the effort.

How do you encourage survival of the friendliest in your workplace? Email me at [email protected].


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