Tips on How to Keep The Balance In The Work Place
  • | September 27, 2016
It’s great to get along well with your boss and other co-workers but sometimes in an effort to promote workplace comradery, the lines between manager and employee can become blurred.  An awkward, tense work environment can result when the boundaries are not respected and cries of favoritism and special treatment can only make things worse. If you are the boss, it is your responsibility to maintain order and set the standard for your employees to follow.

Here are tips on how to keep the balance in the work place.

  1. “The Office” is not real life. The boss who wants to be everybody’s friend, wastes work time with silly antics, and neglects their real duties does not exist in the real world, at least not for any length of time. In real life Michael Scott (Steve Carell) would have been fired for harassment, negligence, or insubordination about 10 minutes into the first episode of the first season. You’re the boss. Act like it.

  2. Don’t fraternize with your employees. Socializing outside of the workplace is always a tricky dynamic but when you’re the boss it can become even more problematic. Fraternizing leads to friendships and (sometimes) office romances which can impact your judgement. Furthermore, people’s personal lives are theoretically separate from their work lives and you may wind up finding out information about an employee you’d rather not know that can make it difficult to remain objective in the workplace.

  3. Religion. Sex. Unless you work in one of these three industries you should keep conversation and discussion of these topics off-limits as a general rule. There’s a time and a place for open discussion and debate but the workplace, where you need to be united towards a common goal, is not it.

  4. Do not get involved in personal affairs. Workplace gossip and discussion will inevitably lead to you finding out information about your employees. As a boss and even a human being you may want to get involved, try to help out with a problem, or provide guidance.  There are times when this will be appropriate and welcome such as donating money to an employee’s kid’s school fundraiser. Other times it may not be the wisest choice such as offering advice on parenting or marriage-related issued. Choose carefully when deciding to become involved in your employee’s personal lives as it is generally not your business.

  5. Always remember: you might have to fire one of these people. When deciding how close to get with your employees keep in mind that you might have to terminate their employment one day. Ask yourself “will doing this make it more difficult for me to make that decision.”

  6. Carefully consider personal invitations. Few employees really want to invite their boss to their daughter’s 6th birthday party but many will do so out of a sense of obligation. When presented with an invitation to a personal event consider whether or not it’s appropriate for you to go. Will other employees be in attendance? Will alcohol be consumed? If you decide it’s not the great move for you then politely decline. You may be doing them a favor anyway.

Maintaining the balance between boss and bud is a tightrope act at times but it is also an essential part of effective management and leadership. You do not need to rule the office with an iron fist either. When in doubt, err on the side of being polite and professional.

Good luck.