Can Managers and Employees be friends at work?
So many times I have been tangled into the web of thought on what is the ideal relationship between the managers and their employees. Is that any different than friendship? Interestingly I have imagined, managers as the one to be brutal and the ones who forcefully got things done! Well that’s what I imagined how a boss would be like and so did many of my friends.
On the contrary, in the recent times all the managers I have known and worked with, constantly dwelled in a more human way to work. Meaning, the manager definitely wants to learn and has vested interest in the “real needs” of the employees. I loved this article on Command and Control.
The relationship – the manager and the employee, shares is definitely not friendship because at the core the manager needs to fulfil their core responsibilities. I see it as something more!
It’s not a friendship, where the manager would actually remember their anniversary or kids’ birthday and wish them or plan surprises. However, the manager cares personally for the employee. The manager knows what’s important for them (like reading or the play time with their kids).
I have known some great leaders who have been able to lead by example. They have their own personal time on calendar always set up when they are not available for work and push down the similar trend in their own teams. This way they not only know which times the teams are most available but also know which are the times they are the least!
As mentioned earlier the managers constantly think of their core responsibilities like continuously providing the genuine feedback and ensure employees have enough challenges and opportunities for growth. Hence it becomes very important that the manager knows and understands the employees well as in what is important to them and what motivates them.
“Caring personally means you are willing to find time for real conversations.“
This takes a lot of emotional energy. It requires a commitment to their team member’s ongoing success and a desire to help them grow in the way they want to grow in their careers.
If you’ve ever had a great boss, you know it’s also one of the most deeply personal and meaningful relationships life can offer.
The manager – employee relationship is more than friendship. It is a deeply human relationship, and when it works, it unlocks human potential.