Do you want your boss to be your friend?
A coworker sent me an article from the Wall Street Journal Online titled “OMG – My Boss Wants To Be My ‘Friend’ Online”. http://www.careerjournal.com/columnists/cubicleculture/20070711-cubicle.html
The article points out those social networking sites such as Facebook and MySpace can pose a dilemma for both the boss and the employee. It’s a new awkward dimension of ‘friendship’ and the boss-employee relationship.
What do employees really want from their bosses?
Terry Bacon, an expert in talent management and author of ‘What People Want: A Manager’s Guide to Building Relationships that Work’ conducted a nationwide survey of 500 employees to learn what matters most in their relationship with a manager. The Oct. 2006 news release for the book says, ‘Ninety percent of workers rank honesty, fairness and trust as their top three needs. Bacon says what employees don’t want from their boss is fun, friendship and “interesting conversations”’. http://www.lorenet.com/About-Press.asp
How does civility fit in all this?
I think about respect and fairness. I think of brown-nosing (flatter with the intention of getting something). I think of ethics. How separate do you want your personal life and your working life to be? Do my age and my experience with many different bosses make me look at the demarcation line between a boss and an employee differently than my 20-something year old children would?
I think both the employee and the boss have responsibilities to maintain a professional relationship. There are bosses I would never be friends with outside the workplace and there are bosses that are definitely friends. The latter is more problematic. I think there are differences in friendships before your friend becomes your boss, when your friend is your boss and after your friend is no longer your boss. The real test for me is would I continue the friendship after the person is no longer my boss? Your thoughts?
More on the Internet
Boss or Friend? The Importance of a Clearly Defined Working Relationship, http://www.allbusiness.com/human-resources/workforce-management/11242-1.html
Can the Boss Be a Friend?, http://www.poynter.org/column.asp?id=34&aid=2408
Can Employees Be Friends With the Boss?, http://gmj.gallup.com/content/23893/Can-Employees-Be-Friends-With-the-Boss.aspx
Your Friend, Your Boss, Perhaps Your Loss, http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-adv/classifieds/careerpost/careertrack/ct070698.htm