Why Being Friends with Your Employees Will Actually Make You Strike Out

Even a good manager can fall into the trap of seeing certain employees as friends rather than coworkers. There is an important balance that must be created in the office; one of friendly connections but still clearly defined hierarchy. This might seem harsh to some, but it is actually crucial for the success of your team operations and company success.

5 Reasons Why Being Friends with Employees Will Backfire

Don’t fall into the friendly trap. Be a straightforward manager who knows how to set boundaries yet still inspire. Here are just a few reasons why being friends with your employees can backfire.


1) It’s not scalable.

It’s human nature to make friends, but it’s not natural to be friends with everyone. When you get to the point of having some employees that you are friends with and others who are not your friends, it comes across as unfair or mean. Even though it’s natural to not become friends with everyone you come into contact with, if you manage a team of employees, you have to treat them with equality which is hard to do when you are friends with only some of them.

2) Day-to-day productivity may suffer.

Another natural part of friendship is to share personal happenings or emotions with each other. This is fine when it’s not on company time. When you are friends with your employees, it might be hard to properly distinguish company time versus friend time, and productivity may suffer when too much of your work day is filled with friendly chatter.

3) Things can get complicated.

This is quite obvious, but manager and employee friendships can really complicate everything in the office. From making other employees feel left out, to dealing with problems fairly, friendships can strip away the positive yet productive team morale you’ve worked so hard to build.

4) You may share things that you shouldn’t.

Part of the draw of friendship is the ability to share information, be candid, and even rant with another person. If this friendship is with an employee from your office, you may accidentally share too much information – positive or negative. You can get into serious trouble for sharing confidential information with another employee. It’s better not to risk this liability altogether.

5) It’s hard to discipline or fire a friend.

Finally, when times get hard or performance on the team declines, you may find yourself in a tough spot where you have to discipline or fire a friend. While these scenarios are already hard to do as an impartial, just manager, it gets even more stressful when you have to carry out these actions with a friend.

Become a Strong Team Leader

Find out more ways to become a strong and successful leader or get help finding top talent in your area by talking to the experts at Integrity Staffing Services.  Request employees, here.

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