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When Abigail Lee joined her skincare company, Rain, she had just graduated from university and had just moved to London.
She told CNBC that she was a fan of the brand after trying their products on a counter in British high-end department store Harrods a few years ago. While studying, she sought an internship at Ren, which turned into a full-time role. Because the company was small, he told me, it was easy to make contact. “You are [didn’t] Have to wait to go to the water [cooler] To talk to someone, it was just the culture that the two founders built… [a] The familial kind of culture, in fact, breaks down those barriers.”
She soon befriended her Spanish colleague, Eva, the company’s head of customer service, and the two became close. “She’s 10 or 12 years older than me…I would say I’ve been more serious about things. And she taught me how to laugh at myself.” Although the two might clash at times in meetings,”[we’d] Then get up and go to Waitrose for lunch…the space created by the founders was the podium, and then the rest was up to us,” he told me.
When Ren was sold to Unilever In 2015, Lee decided it was time to leave — after spending seven years at the company. Did her friendships keep her on the role during that time? “There were items [of that], because just going to work and spending time with people who make you laugh and be happy, they care about you, they stand up for you – it’s a luxury, ”he met.
Lee is not alone. Having close friendships in the workplace is something that consultant Bruce Daisley says can help retain employees, and it’s a topic he discovered earlier this month in his Make Work Better newsletter. He wrote of the relationships people develop: “One of the things that helps make these friendships is a sense of shared experience. The things we do with others just feel more important.”
Gallup research indicates that having a best friend at work is directly related to the number of employees in their roles. “For example, women who strongly agree that they have a close friend at work are more than twice as likely to be engaged (63%) than women who say otherwise (29%), the company said in Posted online in 2018.
Daisley, former Vice President of Twitter, he said he’s a close friend of people he met in his first ad sales role in the ’90s, including Pinterest CEO Nick Hewitt and Dara Nasr, who runs Twitter in the UK, and having a “best friend” at work could go some way in stemming the tide of so-called ‘big resignation’ A record 4.3 million Americans They quit their jobs in August, according to the US Department of Labor.
However, these relationships are hard to maintain when so many people still work at home, he said.
One organization Daisley spoke to was proud of its familiar, empathetic culture, but struggled to maintain it as people increasingly worked away from the office. “[One employee] He told them… I feel like I was probably too intrigued by that [culture]It was preventing me from resigning. Now I will find a job that will pay me another five thousand dollars, and I will leave.”
While some companies are seeing higher productivity and better financial results, some are also seeing “the highest quitting rate in 10 years,” Daisley said of the companies he works with.
According to a survey conducted by the recruitment company Randstad, the “sellers market,” appears to be going on with 56% of workers either having recently changed jobs or are “actively looking”. The company surveyed 27,000 people in countries in Europe, the Americas and Asia between August 23 and September 12 for the Workmonitor report published this month.
“The market is rebounding, people are seeing the possibilities… [when] “Working from home, and if it’s been for a long time, kind of lowers the thresholds to look around,” Randstad CEO Jack van den Broek told CNBC via video call.
While managers may not become close friends with their employees, employees still look to them for support. A December 2020 Randstad survey suggested a “significant” percentage of people felt emotionally supported by their employer, with 71% saying that was the case, but things have now turned, according to Van den Brook. “At first [of the pandemic], people felt cared for and felt supported, but now the market is opening up and [employees] I feel, maybe I should create a new balance.”
The latest Randstad research shows that 62% of 25- to 34-year-olds “feel undervalued and plan to look for another job with better pay and benefits,” according to an emailed statement. “We call it the Great Enlightenment; they are taking the reins of their careers,” said Van den Broek.
What about the concept of a best friend at work? “We see it in our business a lot… our employees have an average age of 27, 28… people get close to each other, and they are on the same learning curve… getting to know the business [and] “They are at the same stage in life,” he added, and the concept can be applied in the leader-employee relationship.
“My main challenge is to get to people and be in shape, the best friend at work. That might sound silly because you’re still the boss. But we want to instill that. Because, if you respect me and I respect you, I care about who you are as a person… We also have better results.”
Van den Broek said staying close to employees will help retain them. “The summons is pretty straightforward: Take care of your people…confess them, but be aware that, you know, they might get away with it before you know it.”
Does technology have a role to play in creating closer relationships? Although it can be an enabler, Daisley cautioned and said he has received several game promotions where people can wander into a virtual office and listen to serendipitous conversations in an effort to recreate the ubiquitous water cooler moment. “I don’t think, yet, that we did [found] Those solutions are where people go, wow, that does something that’s totally counterintuitive but lacks service.”
For Lee, the connections she made in previous roles will likely remain friends for life. “We are close enough to open up [about] Our difficult moments. “There are losses and frictions and things in our lives that we can turn to these people, and that’s very precious,” she said.
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