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Whistle while you work

Industry News, News | October 1, 2015 | By:

Crews that enjoy the job—and each other—benefit the bottom line.

Every issue of InTents focuses in some way on tented-event safety and best practices. Staking and ballasting, OSHA compliance, event evacuation procedures, code development and personal protective equipment are all common topics on these pages.

A “best practice” we haven’t spent a lot time on is the value of friendships in the workplace. It comes up not once but twice in this issue. “Slow Season Survival Guide” is filled will all kinds of great advice, including the relationship between camaraderie on the job and employee retention. Then, in the Tent Rental Division member spotlight, Big 4 Party Rentals president and CEO Rob Roberts discusses the value of the professional relationships he has developed through TRD events.

Coincidently, New York Times contributing opinion writer and Wharton School professor of management and psychology Adam Grant addressed the decline in workplace friendships, especially in the U.S., in a recent column (“Friends at Work? Not so Much,” New York Times, Sept. 6, 2015).

What’s to blame? Grant’s analysis spans history from the Protestant Reformation to telecommuting and virtual work. But whatever the cause, he notes that research shows that groups of friends outperform groups of acquaintances in both decision making and effort tasks.

“When friends work together, they’re more trusting and committed to one another’s success,” he writes. “That means they share more information and spend more time helping—and as long as they don’t hold back on constructive criticism out of politeness, they make better choices and get more done.”

The point isn’t that we all need to find our BFF in our place of employment, but that a crew that whistles while it works is a crew that is more productive and more likely to return season after season.

The best place to discover new best practices (besides this magazine!) is at IFAI conferences and expos. Registration for Tent Conference 2016 in Las Vegas, Nev., Jan. 26–28 is open.

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