June 12, 2008
Should You Treat Employees As Friends?
Ad Age wrote an article a couple weeks back that caught my attention. The article was named Do Bossfriends Create Great Employees? which takes the side that being friends with your employees create great employees. The argument he makes is that the more your employees like you, the more they will do for you. But I find the whole concept of being friends with employees to make them better employees to be, um..., somewhat oxymoronic. How so you ask? Well, if you're friendly to your employees only because you want them to be better employees, then your true intentions seem way off. Not sure if I am getting my point across - but to fake to be friendly in an effort to make for better employees, imo, will back fire.
My take? I don't believe employers should be on a friend relationship level. I have some of the best employees here at RustyBrick, but I make an effort to not cross the line of being their friends. Why? Not because I don't like them - it's the opposite. I really like every one of my staff members. They are all talented, creative, hard-working, honest and most importantly good people. They have the qualities I look for in friends.
But I don't feel an employer should be a friend with their employees. I personally don't think going out for drinks with employees is something I would think is appropriate. I don't think hanging with employees is a good thing. That doesn't mean I don't believe in going to an employees happy or sad occasion - but I feel there should be some sort of line drawn.
Maybe it was the way I was raised. Who knows.
Does this leave for a stale company culture at RustyBrick? No way! The guys often go out for lunch together during the day. I believe some hang on the weekends, go to baseball games, play video games in the office on Friday afternoons and much more.
In the future, I hope to write a blog post giving your more details on the RB staff. It should be fun, but it will take a while for me to start on that.