Why having friends at work matters

October 11, 2022


An article by Harvard Business Review recently sparked our attention (see here) , when we found out that 3 out of 10 of us don’t have close friends at work! How shocking is that, when most multinational organizations invest tons of money every year in trying to keep you at their workplaces or attract you to join, when in reality we all have very human and emotional needs which cannot be separated from our likelihood of staying at a place of work. This is why KNO focuses so much on enhancing and measuring the human aspects of work which make us less likely to leave, even at a factory environment.

Photo credit: Harvard Business Review

Imagine you’ve just arrived at a new place of work, distant from your hometown, and before you pick up your first task - what do you have to do? Meet people and make friends. It’s a fact that if you want to earn more and work your way up to earning more money on the factory floor, you have to make friends with the people around you. Even if it’s not a deep connection at first, getting to know the names of other people is part of getting the job done and allocating tasks to each other. 

The HBR article points out how having a buddy system, like that KNO helps build through our community hero program, can enforce better connection and likelihood to stay at work. As 90% of factories in China are struggling to keep  highly skilled younger workers, it seems an obvious factor to their likelihood to stay will be reflected in the quality of their relationships at work. Which can lead to huge cost savings for the factory management who try to keep workers and reduce their time spent recruiting new employees. On average in 2020 turnover in the manufacturing industry in China hit 28.9% (see here) causing a sharp increase in labour costs. Reducing the likelihood of people leaving has become as vital as ever. 

Whilst KNO recommends building community at work and social support networks, it is not something that is easy to do or can be done overnight. It takes time, but if you wish to find out more about how our methodologies can help you, do get in touch. 

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