Appropriate Relationships With Employees

Whether you are leading an organization of 5 or 500, an effective manager remains visible and attempts to know what motivates his or her employee. This is more difficult in a very large organization, but appearing detached is never a good way of building loyalty and getting the most out of your staff.

Your management style will also have to evolve based on the people you lead. There have been people who worked for me who needed more reinforcement and encouragement than others. I’ve worked with some individuals who, on Monday mornings looked for me to ask them about their weekends. I would listen to their stories about their boating trips, things their families did, etc. If I didn’t ask and listen, their personality type would cause them to think that I was mad at them or didn’t care. Conversely, there were others I’ve managed who had I asked them on Monday about their weekend, they would have considered it an invasion of their privacy.

Everyone is different. A good manager can adapt.

Younger managers have often asked me if it is okay to be friends with the people you work with. My answer is that it depends on how you define ‘friend’. Of course, you want to be friendly with your staff. Being a manager does not mean that you should be removed and cold. However, you have to know when that friendship is crossing a line. Is it okay to have lunch with an employee? Sure. Is it OK to go out for drinks with an employee? In my opinion, no.

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