Many research works have discovered that having friends at work is a great thing. Science has discovered that meaningful friendships in the workplace have advantages like enhanced emotional well-being, loyalty, and trust. It is also useful for you physically. Building and maintaining workplace friends will decrease anxiety and stress and to improve your productivity. In a setting whereby you are associating with the same people every day, you tend to generate relationships with these people. However, is the 'friend and boss' relationship possible? This usually leads not only to work relationships but true friendships. While there is absolutely nothing wrong with employees developing intimate connection with one another, the dynamic between the boss and employee is a bit distinctive.
As a manager, leader, and bosses, one has to be mindful of the way they conduct themselves with their workers. Boundaries need to be put in place for variety of reasons. If you are a boss, it's all about balance when it concerns becoming friends with your workers. On the other hand, you should prevent notably close personal friendships with workers, but you also need to let it known to them that you care about them as individuals, not just as employees.
It is up to you to establish an equilibrium between being friendly and being an exceptional leader to them. The valid thing is that you need not to be frigid and unfriendly to your employees to establish authority. Be an equivalently good mentor to all your workers and show understanding towards them. Challenge them and also show them that you care about their personal lives and careers. Some lines can and must be drawn.
Here are somethings things that can be done to find the perfect balance.
BE TRUSTING AND UNDERSTANDING
Trust strengthens friendships. It also generates productive and healthy relationships amidst bosses and staff. When you trust your employees, you unavoidably give them more freedom. Take scheduling work hours, for instance. Give them the independence to inquire shift trades among themselves. By so doing, you prove that you trust them to plan their time the appropriate way. In return, you will get satisfied workers who enjoy going to work every day because they know they are doing a great job. Let them communicate their shift preferences. Prove to them that you understand that they have lives outside of work and that you value those outside responsibilities. The main emphasis is that there are several ways to earn respect and honor of your subordinates without creating intimate personal relationships with them that can lead to harming your workplace dynamic.
DO NOT BE A TOXIC LEADER
To motivate your team and achieve positive results, you need to avoid ruinous leadership mistakes like:
- Failing to share and receive feedback.
- Resisting change
- Discouraging creativity and innovation.
- Not appropriately delegating work to the right people.
- Publicly creating and bullying others.
- Failing to set a goal for your organization
- Micromanaging and assigning too much work to others.
- Solving problems with a quick fix
While trying to make you a more effective leader overall, improving your leadership skills will make it easier for you to treat everyone the same. Alongside, you'll strengthen areas like emotional intelligence and communication skills.
TREAT EVERYONE THE SAME WAY
Sometimes, treating everybody the same way is not an easy thing to do. But have this in mind at all times, the balancing act is slightly like being a parent who has more than one child. You can't choose favorites, and you need to be consistent. A way has been figured out on how to keep things equal among workers is to pay proper attention when choosing new employees. Resist employing anyone simply because of their cheerful disposition. You want upbeat, yes, but you must ensure that you are very particular on qualifications.
Additionally, show respect to all of your workers and treat them how you would like to be treated.
TAKE THE TIME TO NOTURE THE RELATIONSHIP
Don't isolate yourself in your office all day. Get out there and try mingling with everyone. Have lunch with them, occasionally get your hands dirty and work in the hollows with them. When you take your time to get to know your workers, you get to find out what they have interest in and what makes them tick. You get to discover the hidden talents they possess. You may discover that you have more in interest than you originally thought.
Friends usually want the best for each other. The same works for your team. If they are going through a hard time, show them you are willing to support and give them advice. You can show that you feel sorry for their problems without getting involved in them privately. You don't have to be best friends with your employee before you get to know their strengths and help them grow. If you want what's best for them, invest in their skills and knowledge. Teach them how to be successful because they are your most valuable asset at work.
All healthy relationships are built on honesty. And like a good friend would caution you when you are doing something that is not right no matter hurting it might sound, a good leader will use open communication to enhance the rate of skillfulness in the workers. Honesty is one of the greatest principles you can use to establish a strong balance between caring for your employees and directing them professionally. The closer you get to someone on a special level, the harder it becomes to give them honest feedback as workers.
In conclusion, if you do not feel assured enough to strike a balance between being a boss and friend, seek assistance from someone else. For instance, you can have a no preferential party make major decisions, such as promoting or dismissing employees. Don't mention anything about your private feeling and relationship to the third party -- and give them total autonomy to determine the decision. As the boss, you'll want to take care of your personal self as far as the workplace is concerned. Do what's best for your emotional well being and your emotional intelligence so that you can always achieve the best team productivity.