Working relationships can be a complicated path to navigate. We want to get on with our co-workers, but we also need to maintain a certain level of professionalism at all times. It can be difficult to separate what happens in work from who we are outside the office, which can result in tense relationships if something changes on either side. While maintaining positive working relationships can be hard work, it will work well for you in the long run to invest in your relationships.
I recently had the first member of my team hand in her notice. My initial reaction was shock: she came into work every day with a positive attitude and always gave 100% – it never would have crossed my mind that she was planning on leaving.
I had feelings of disappointment, frustration and, to a certain degree, betrayal. We had put a lot of time and planning into her career path, so I had hoped for her to grow within our company, not another!
My initial reaction was to make her stay. But then I actually took a step back and looked at her: she was nervous, upset at even telling me. I could see that. So I hugged her and asked her to tell me all about it. Her attitude changed, and I could tell how excited she was about this new opportunity. She decided to leave the recruitment industry altogether and transfer her skills into brand new area. After 4.5 years of service, I had a duty of care to listen to her and to find out her exact reasons for leaving. Having done this, I genuinely felt happy and keen to encourage her in her new opportunity (amidst my sadness of the actual fact that she was leaving).
The fact is, she wasn’t leaving our company because she was unhappy. She was leaving because she wanted to embrace other opportunities, and that’s ok. So we decided to embrace her move as a team. We celebrated her successes and all that she brought to the team. We threw her going away drinks and, our director even invited her out to a one to one lunch to show our appreciation for her work and loyalty to date.
From the time she handed in her notice to the day she left, she never took her foot off the gas and genuinely gave the most thorough handover I have ever seen. She is to this day forwarding us leads and candidates!
Our CEO has made it clear that the door is always open for people who decide to move on in their career, and I think that this is a very important note to leave on. Not only as they will be leaving with an opinion of the experience they had in your company, but also on a personal level. That type of emotion sticks.
The average worker today sticks with a job for 4.4 years, according to the most recent available data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, but the expected tenure of the workforce’s youngest employees is about half that.
The truth of the matter is you will never know when your paths may cross again on a personal or professional level and to although I was her manager then, no one can predict what will happen down the line in either of our careers. Working hard to cultivate and maintain positive working relationships may be difficult at times, but working well with others will work well for you in the long run.
Want to work with Lauren?
Lauren is the Principal Team Lead for Cpl’s Office Support division. To work with Lauren on finding a job and building new relationships, see what roles she has available below.