4 Tips for Managers Who Befriend Employees

In today’s post-40-hour-workweek world, workplace teams often spend more time with each other than they do with their families. It’s easy for the lines to blur between professional and personal conduct, which can make it even tougher for managers to communicate expectations to their teams. Gwen Moran recently wrote a column for Entrepreneur in which she offered the following helpful tips for managers who befriend employees.

  1. Lead by example. “The way you conduct yourself in the workplace is how employees will react to you,” recommends Reema Khan, the CEO of California’s s.h.a.p.e.s. Brow Bar. Maintain an all-business attitude during the workday, and your employees will follow suit.
  2. Stay out of workers’ personal troubles. If a teammate’s issues are affecting his or her work, Khan recommends that managers not get involved and instead refer the employee to nonprofit or community resources.
  3. Set boundaries. Think ahead of time about the language you’ll use to correct employees when conversations go off-course into oversharing territory. Khan uses a variation of, “It’s best if we don’t discuss personal issues in the workplace.”
  4. Have a life outside of work. If you have friends and a support network that doesn’t involve your employees, you won’t be as tempted to party with your team all weekend long. Your workers may be fun to hang out with, but Khan warns that if you cross that line, you’ll have a much harder time getting your team to toe the line during the workweek.

What other tips would you add to this list?

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(Photo credit: Morgan/Flickr)