Job quitters don't help colleagues: study
Workers who are considering quitting their jobs stop supporting their colleagues because they no longer feel they need to do favours for them, research has found.
A study found that those on the hunt for a new post start to focus on other people who can help them in another job or company, rather than their current co-workers.
However, they make more of an effort to maintain contact with people at work who they consider to be friends as they worry about being without close colleagues in a new workplace.
Academics at the University of Exeter Business School surveyed employees to see how their relationships with colleagues changed when they were considering quitting.
Dr Andrew Parker, who carried out the study, said: "We found people who are considering quitting their jobs don't then feel the need to help or do favours for those who have given them advice over the years.
"They feel less obligated towards their old colleagues and begin to focus on the benefits of creating new ties.
"However they maintain existing relationships with colleagues who are friends, because they don't want to lose this relationship when they leave their job.
"They worry they might have less time available to create new friends."
The study found workers form relationships with some colleagues who are classed as "advisers" - who help them perform well and make them feel they can achieve their goals.
Other colleagues are "friends", providing social and emotional support and helping employees feel like they "belong" at work.
People who worked longer hours and with higher tenure were more often sought out for advice, while those who were older were asked for guidance less often.
Workers usually became friends with people in the same level of job or length of service, or those in a similar age bracket with similar views on their job satisfaction.
The study, published in the Academy of Management Journal, involved 121 employees from eight healthcare organisations in the Netherlands.
Workers were surveyed three times through questionnaires set four months apart.
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