When was the last time you join lunch with your employees, or have a coffee-break to discuss some non-work related stuffs with them? Some employers believe that personal relationship does matter when it comes to improving employee engagement. Motivating employees to perform better will be easier when leaders are able to establish good communication and maintain close relationship with the staffs from all levels. Not to mention, employees will also stay longer when they have a sense of belonging in the teamwork.
Unfortunately, building a close and respectable employer-employee relationship is not as easy as it sounds. At some cases, there are internal disputes that arise because of the relationship itself. The issues could be in the forms of baseless rumours among team members due to misunderstanding, unfair treatment due to playing favourites with employees, and many more. In order to prevent such issues, managers should know the limits of what they should and should not do in maintaining relationship with employees.
Make friend with all employees
While it is true that there are some people whose characteristics simply do not fit with yours, you should not show it obviously. As a leader, you are responsible to know all your employees and make friend with them without any exception. As an unbiased manager, you should not only choose a group of employees you can make friend with. If you show preference of certain employee over the others, this could provoke some issues such as resentment and slander within the team.
Listen to their story
By being friend with employees, you will have better understanding of their personal characters. This will help you identify the right methods when you need to provide feedbacks and motivate them in work-related matters. It is also important to show that you care about their personal lives, as this will show that you consider them as a partner instead of merely subordinate.
Hold fun events
You can initiate some events where the employees can get to know you better and treat you as their friend. Monthly events such as family outing, company dinner, sharing session, and similar programmes are highly recommended to create solid relationship in the workplace. Besides strengthen your relationship with them, these events are also beneficial to build chemistry between one employee and
Discuss work matters outside of working hours
It is crucial for leaders to spend some time to have coffee talk in the evening with the employees. However, you should not bring up heavy topics related to work in such informal discussion. Discussing simple themes such as the latest movies playing in the theatre could be a great way to know them personally. It is also worth noted that you should be careful when employees start gossiping their coworkers. No matter how close your relationship with your employee is, you should never let them spread out such groundless stories.
Take everything personally
Making friend with employees does not necessarily mean that you can adopt too tolerant work relationship in the workplace. You should stay professional even when you are close with one employee or two. For example, when your closest employee makes a mistake, you cannot simply tolerate the errors and let him walk away. Instead, you should give the same punishment just like if other employees commit the same.
Talk about one employee’s problem to the others
Being a leader gives you the privilege of knowing employees’ stories and secrets, as most employees will go to you when they have problems. However, you should never share about such confidential information to other employees, even if you are close to them. Talking about the problem or weakness of one employee to another will only destroy your own teamwork as this could lead to internal conflict due to distrust and suspicion.