The power of an employer-employee relationship can bring a lot of benefits to your company. By creating a stronger team and making employees feel like you are all in this together, you can go on to achieve great things. But one HR consulting firm revealed that six out of ten managers admitted they feel uncomfortable with the people below them adding them as a friend on Facebook.
This guide is going to show you how you can go about forging those bonds between managers and the ordinary worker.
The Game Has Changed
The reason why so many people feel uncomfortable with friending their charges on Facebook is because they believe it’s too personal. They believe that it’s improper because of the workplace hierarchy. It’s a form of old thinking that’s steadily losing its relevance.
There are multiple reasons for this, including:
The Next Generation – Millennials no longer care for traditional hierarchies and old-fashioned rules. They are more casual, even though they are just as effective in their work. They are less likely to accept traditional hierarchies, and they are the next generation of workers.
Business is More Personal – To make sales in a B2B or B2C environment you’ll notice that it’s about forming a personal relationship with your leads. If you can’t do this within your company, how can you expect to do it outside of your company?
Collaboration is Essential – Teams are becoming more integrated. These days’ social media, SEO, sales, and marketing are all part of the same process. These teams have been combined together. Integration at all levels is crucial.
Companies that don’t adapt to these new realities are going to find themselves falling behind. Break down the barriers and tear down the hierarchy and you’ll see an immense amount of benefit.
To Know Your Employees
Simply adding someone on Facebook isn’t enough to form a solid relationship. You have to go further than that. Friendships only form when both parties care about each other. They take a commitment from both sides.
In your company, make it a priority for people to get to know each other. Forget about teambuilding activities. Go to the park for a picnic. Or take your employees on a trip where you help a good cause for an afternoon each week. The key is to get people talking, to help everyone understand each other’s wants and needs.
This is a reciprocal process, so you have to share as much as you give.
Set Some Boundaries
A big fear among managers is that if they become friends with people in the office they will lose control and their sense of authority will diminish. In other words, they won’t be able to get as much out of their teams. The exact opposite is true, but only if you set clear boundaries from the beginning.
You can have personal friendships with accountability and responsibility. When it’s time to work its time to work, and that’s something you have to communicate from the beginning. You are looking for a fruitful relationship with someone not lots of drinking buddies.
Make Equal Responsibility Part of Every Relationship
To benefit from a relationship, you must make sure that both parties take equal responsibility. You can’t have one part dominating the other. No employee should be receiving special treatment because they happen to be friends with the right person.
At the same time, you can’t ask one employee to do something that you would never ask another employee to do. Friendship shouldn’t change the dynamics of the office. You are still here to accomplish the goals of the company.
The Important Takeaway – Time
This is the biggest issue you have to take into account. It takes time to build friendships. Forget about spending a few minutes per day with someone and then you suddenly becoming best friends for life. You have to make the relationship nurture and grow.
The keyword in any strategy to bring employer and employee together is respect. Both parties have to respect each other on merit not because they feel like they are obliged to.
Last Word – What Friendships Can Do for You
Any smart business leader should realize that this is a top priority for them. A team that doesn’t like each other will never work hard to help meet a deadline or accomplish a goal. People want more than a paycheck for their efforts.
Moreover, this is how you’re going to stop people from leaving. People are less loyal to brands than ever before, so you really have to work to hold the best talent.
How will you go about fostering strong relationships today?