Anne was a smart, creative, enthusiastic employee, and her supervisor saw her as a key part of the company’s future. Hearing that made her feel gratified and appreciated — but apparently not everyone felt the same.
Whether out of jealousy, a feeling of being overlooked, or both, a female co-worker who’d been there longer began undermining her with a whispering campaign. A few of Anne’s colleagues let her know that the woman was spreading rumors around the office that she and the married supervisor were romantically involved, and that was the reason she was receiving so much positive attention.
Angry and embarrassed, Anne told the story to her supervisor, expecting him to make the situation right. Instead, he told her he didn’t believe the co-worker would ever do such a thing, and told her to ignore it.
“He was trying to avoid a conflict, but I felt hurt that he didn’t look out for me,” she said. “I couldn’t come in every day and smile to this person’s face and pretend like nothing ever happened.”
She started looking for a new job that night. A month later, she was gone.
In an economy with 3% unemployment and ample opportunities for mobility, it is not enough to simply provide competitive pay and benefits. People want to work in a place where they feel they belong. They want to work for people who care.