Schmoozers Can Save Their Jobs With Social Words Like ‘Baseball’

sportsHow about that big homecoming for LeBron James?

When it comes to sports, if you know a thing or two (and even if you don’t), as long as you talk shop at the office it could bode you well.

According to new research from the Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania, if you message colleagues with chatchat such as sports or food, you’re significantly more likely to keep your job during layoffs. Assistant professor Lynn Wu studied electronic communications for two years encompassing emails, instant messages and calendar scheduling for 8,037 anonymous workers at one global information technology consulting firm.

She put communications into a few buckets — one was a social category characterized by sports, meals and other types of chat. Here’s the kicker: workers who used words like “lunch,” “coffee” or “baseball” were more likely to keep their jobs during layoffs than colleagues who didn’t.

Looks like schmoozing pays off!

In fact, the best employee chatters weren’t exactly the best sales people on the job. Their value ironically didn’t directly correlate to revenue. Their bosses found these influencers valuable regardless of how much money they brought in. And isn’t that what truly matters?