As a leader, you must have clear boundaries drawn between you and your employees. Many leaders, especially when first starting out, fail to create these boundaries and suffer because of it.
It is only natural for you to mesh well with certain employees who you manage, and others not as much. No matter how well you get along with someone, you still have to be fair. Fairness means that you are only judging employees based on their job performance and nothing more. No matter how much you like someone’s company, you have to treat each employee fairly. When you begin to show favoritism to certain employees, people will notice. Stay professional and avoid playing favorites.
Keep Socialization to Work Sponsored Events
As a leader within your organization, you want to participate in team building activities, but you don’t want to become friends with those you lead, no matter how much you enjoy their company.
It is perfectly appropriate to attend a work-sponsored happy hour with your employees. It is not appropriate, however, to meet up with one of your employees for drinks after hours. As difficult it may be, you simply cannot socialize with your employees.
Avoid Providing Too Much Information
Now that you are leading others, you have to be aware of what and how much you reveal about your personal life. As much as you may want to gush about your new puppy with your employees, you have to keep personal information to yourself as much as possible. Obviously, you want your employees to see you as a person, but that doesn’t mean they need to know the details of your life. Keep conversations positive and professional. Don’t vent or discuss office politics, and avoid getting into deeply personal information.
Be Conscious of your Social Media Presence
In 2019, you can safely assume that most employees have active social media accounts. This includes leadership members. While it is perfectly fine to connect on professional platforms like Linkedin or Crunchbase, it is not advisable to connect on less formal social media platforms. While it may be tempting to accept that friend request, don’t do it. The more professional you can remain, the better. You don’t need your employees seeing personal photos or your opinion on certain topics.
As a leader, you have a responsibility to set and stick to boundaries between you and those you lead. Not only will this help maintain your professionalism, but it will also help create a comfortable and healthy working environment for all.