Thinking about a manager being friendly with his•her employees can seems weird, strange, not usual. But hey, we’re in 2017 right?
First, remember that there is a big difference between being friendly AND being a friend. A recruiter, a manager, a boss should NOT become friend with a employee, but they all have to be friendly with them, let me explain.
Second, I’m not talking about the case where the boss recruited his•her friend, of course, they already are friends and they will stay. If someone is not your friend anymore, s·he never been your friend.
That say, we can start.
“Friendship is always a sweet responsibility, never an opportunity.” – Khalil Gibran
Yes, being friend or friendly with someone is a responsibility, have you ever be friend with someone by opportunity? Yes? You know what? This was not friendship.
Now, as an employer, you can have a drink or two after work with an employee. This is a friendly behavior and there is nothing weird about that. Just remember to still have the control, you’re not supposed to be drunk with him·her, you’re not supposed to tell secrets or tell private parts of your life, s•he’s not your friend!
There is some benefits for your company if everyone is acting (for real) friendly with everyone else, of course. “Having a friendly rapport can drive a positive and open corporate culture, and increase morale, productivity, and overall job satisfaction” says Paul McDonald, senior executive director at recruiting firm Robert Half International.
Your relationship with your employee has to be clear and managed on your side. You still have to set boundaries, because tomorrow, you’ll have to give out orders, you’ll still make tough decisions, give constructive feedback, and also have to keep sensitive information confidential, stay objective and get the team to rally behind you.
Your employees have to understand that a barrier exists between you and each of them, but even being aware of that, they still can be naturally nice with you. you’re not acting like a friend, you’re acting friendly for real.
It can be a double edge sword: you can be close to them but you shouldn’t to be overly close! You can always step back later, even maybe by apologizing what you did earlier if needed, this is important to keep a barrier, a friendly one.
Like I said, forging friendships with your employees can have its benefits, but one thing career experts agree is that bosses should avoid at all costs is becoming friends on their employees’ social networks:
“People might not give it a second thought to friend their manager or their employees on Facebook. But in doing so you can open up your personal life to your professional and business contacts,” says Paul.