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Having Intimacy With Employees: A Meaningless Criteria

by Abdur-Rahmaan Janhangeer

If employees state that they have intimacy with other employees, then you are suddenly in a great place to work?

“camaraderie takes up a huge aspect of our survey which is required in order for you to become a great place to work”[1]

One of the pillars of Great Place To Work® Mauritius is camaraderie.

“Friendliness and a sense of community”

“We’re all in this together” [5]

I guess this is my company, my family (until they lay you off) type of thing.

Employers would adore that label for sure. So, your colleagues are really your intimate[2] family members.

“I think it’s so important to have personal relationships at work and doing things even outside of work with your colleagues”[1]

So, in order to work at a great place to work, you have to accommodate in your life, a few new brothers, sisters, husbands, wives, people whom you share intimate relationships with.

“Intimacy is different from having “intimate moments,””[3] Zeynep Tozum tries to quote in “Intimacy in the Workplace, a radical idea” (1994) but people do watch for “… Prevention of Sexual Harassment at Workplace, Grievance Redressal Policy, Equal Opportunity Policy, Business Ethics, and Morals Policy. These policies …””[4].

So, what it means to be intimate without being intimate? It means: “One should maintain more distance with colleagues than what they would maintain typically while having a conversation with their family members.” [4].

So is it about being close or not being close? Use a word then try to back out. Intimacy is a bundle of contradictions. Even Great Place To Work has shockingly few resources on how to effectively build camaraderie. Just search for it. I found only water cooler, skit and club. But, what is camaraderie exactly? “Intimacy Is Hard to Define” says Zeynep.

So, are you being certified on a pillar that is hard to define?

GPTW defines intimacy as “the extent to which people can be themselves and count on each other [9]”. To accomplish it they do things like (Reddit) “having inclusive teams and programs means that individual values and different perspectives are embraced and sought out. These viewpoints help employees challenge themselves and one other to think unconventionally”[9]. But, what a blunder! if you are not in a (love?) relationship, self-disclosure may not be essential [10]. Besides the point that it took a mistaken definition of intimacy from Reis and Shaver.

Camaraderie is composed of intimacy, hospitality and community [7].

So, to be certified, you do have to belong to the company [8] (commun*ism?), and share intimacy with other employees.

I could not find a clearly labeled article on creating intimacy from GPTW, save the Reddit one.

I definitely would like to see more on intimacy from GPTW. If you choose to promote a criteria in a country, you must have a clear idea of what you mean. Also GPTW, do people want intimacy?