Work Friendships Help Relocations
Good relationships at work help international assignees to settle faster and stay longer in their new role.
Talent management company TLNT suggests that talent activation is built upon four pillars – one of which is “encouraging meaningful employee relationships”.
This is especially true when encouraging global mobility, with work friendships facilitating quicker productivity from international assignees. This is particularly relevant for younger employees. TLNT offers powerful statistics that reinforce the role of work friendships:
• Full-time employees (54% vs. 43% of part-time employees) were more likely to say they stay with their current employers because of their co-workers.
• 60% of employees feel their relationship with their employer positively impacts their focus or productivity at work, and 44% say it positively impacts stress levels.
• 3% of millennials consider “friendly co-workers” an important work atmosphere trait.
• 88% of millennials want to be friends with their co-workers.
• The number one source of hiring for organisations is employee referrals.
How can an organisation’s relocation policy maximise this opportunity?
Two aspects are important:
Encourage opportunities for shared experiences and communication, offering points of connection… and fun! A regular social programme with a mix of activities with help co-workers to bond and help new assignees learn about what their location can offer.
Ensure that managers have structured yet informal meetings with team members to encourage conversation beyond purely work-based topics.
Emphasise the culture of the organisation during team building and feedback sessions. Sharing ideas, providing honest feedback (safely) and celebrating team and individual success help to grow work-based friendships.
“Once an assignee has arrived in their new country and started their new role, support becomes even more crucial,” says Louise Chilcott, Global Move and Relocation Specialist from BTR International. “For the relocation to be a success, individuals need to settle into their new home and work role and quickly as possible. Friendships are hugely influential – especially as co-workers may be the only people that assignees know in their new location. Support as this stage is often overlooked and should feature within every relocation policy.”
TLNT adds: “Creating meaningful relationships can form a support framework, but effectively evaluating employees’ relationships serves as a way to measure their level of activation.” The following metrics are suggested:
• Is an employee a social butterfly or do they stay isolated?
• Is an employee volunteering for teams? How many?
• Is an employee providing feedback to others? Coaching others? Seeking out feedback/guidance?
• Is an employee actively recruiting friends and colleagues to apply for open positions within the organisation?
Learning from the results helps individual engagement and team performance to be analysed. This allows best practices and relocation support options to be identified.
Louise says: “The quicker an assignee bonds with their co-workers, the more successful the relocation and the team become. It’s win-win situation however it relies on a support framework being in place.”
If you would like to know more, or to discuss your organisation’s relocation policy, contact Louise for an informal discussion without obligation. Email her via