[CJP Insights] Should managers be friends with their team members

As a manager, the dichotomy of responsibilities is such a stark one 

– you must be warm and friendly with team members – let them know you truly care about their well-being. 

– you have to set clear boundaries and optimise work fone 

While forming real friendships with your team members can help you build trust, improve communication, and increase workplace satisfaction, what if the liberty extended leads to people taking you for granted – make accusations around favoritism, hold you back from calling a spade a spade and making people accountable for mistakes and maybe make it tough to take decisions 

It’s complicated and there’s no one-size-fits-all approach. 

What does your team need? 

Some team members perform better with a more professional working relationship, while others are more motivated when they feel a closer sense of connection to their leaders. so what do they need?

a) Strictly professional relationships with managers : clear separation between their work lives and personal lives. If friendliness hampers work, it’s a clear ‘no-go’ 

b) More friendly relationships with managers to make work feel more enjoyable and connected. 

Avoid the trap of favoritism 

A study about perceived work favoritism at Ohio State’s Fisher School of Business found that nearly half of employees believed their supervisors had favorites, causing them to perceive their workplace as unfair and subsequently feel less loyal, less satisfied, less motivated, and more likely to seek work elsewhere. So, if you’re heading out for lunch or post-work drinks, extend the invitation to your whole team, not just those you feel closest to.

What do you think works best in your case

Would love to hear from you