Building relationships with your employees is a great way to build camaraderie within your organization and foster feelings of workplace happiness. Humans are social creatures, who thrive on interacting with others. It comes to no surprise that even executives, managers and those at the top of the organization’s hierarchy feel the need to get to know the individuals they work with 40+ hours a week on a more personal level. As a manager, it is important to understand that there are boundaries when talking to employees.
It has been found that employer-employee interaction is key to workplace engagement and happiness. In a 2015 study by Virgin Pulse found that 60% of workers state their employer positively impacts their focus or productivity at work, and 44 percent say it positively impacts their stress level. Similarly, 66% of respondents indicated their relationship with colleagues positively impacts their focus and productivity at work, and 55% stated their colleagues positively impact their stress levels on the job.
Yet, managers may add unintended pressure on employees through conversation that can lead to bad workplace relationships and stressful office environment. Many times, bosses don’t realize when they’ve overstepped boundaries! Below, Business Insider identified three things bosses should never ask of their employees:
- Make employees feel they should attend “social” events.
Encouraging specific employees to attend an event could feel like peer pressure. Some people just don’t like to socialize with coworkers and colleagues outside of the office, and that’s their prerogative. When mentioning an upcoming event, even saying something like “Hope you can come to the Christmas party,” can be interpreted as, “If you don’t come to the party I will be disappointed in you.”
- Ask employees to reveal personal information in the interest of “team building.”
Never force employees to share information that they are not comfortable with. Even if the goal is to help workers get to know each other, it is wrong to ask people to share information that is personal or private.
- Ask employees to do something they don’t do.
Bosses and managers should lead by example. That means sometimes doing undesirable tasks or picking up the slack when it’s needed. Employees will have more respect for a boss that does the same tasks they do sometimes than one that delegates task he or she would never do themselves.
Continue to casually talk with your employees about their day, their weekend plans, and other light-hearted conversations to build rapport and camaraderie amongst your team but tread lightly when having conversations on private matters, about upcoming work events, and when delegating tasks to others. If you have any questions about appropriate conversations to have with employees, contact your EFR account manager today!