New Managers and Appropriate Boundaries with Employees; Advice on Finding the Right Balance

Written on September 18, 2018

managing a team

Managing a team is a rewarding experience, and part of that is building relationships with the team-members you lead. However, it is important for managers, especially new managers, to establish boundaries regarding the relationships you have with your direct reports. Through our management training and leadership development programs, Warren Averett Workplace, a Career Partners International (CPI) firm, has been helping new managers grow and thrive for more than 30 years. In this recent press release, our CPI partner, Elaine Varelas of Keystone Partners, outlines why establishing and maintaining appropriate boundaries with employees is an integral part of managing people. A few key points from this article are outlined below:

Once you become a manager, you will need to build relationships in a different way – it is no longer acceptable for the team you manage to be the same friends you regularly socialize with outside of work. While it is okay to participate in some social events with your employees, you should minimize those.

Another key way to ensure that you are creating appropriate boundaries is by curating your management style and being intentional with maintaining a consistent approach.

“Do you want to be a very hands-on manager? Do you want to be a laissez-faire manager? Determine what the right role is for you, your people and your organization’s culture,” states the article. “Take some time to reflect on the managers you had who were the most effective—regardless of their age—whose style you could learn from and emulate. Additionally, think of the managers who you found ineffective and consider how to avoid those pitfalls.”

As a manager, your role is to ensure your employees have the skills, tools and support needed to succeed. Remember that a crucial part of this role is to provide constructive feedback to your employees. Communication is essential.

You will also need to be sensitive towards confidentiality. As mentioned previously, you will have to draw boundaries between your professional and social interactions with your team. There will now be things you cannot discuss with your co-workers, as you may have before.

“Managers want to have good relationships with the people they work with. This means understanding and acknowledging who they are outside of work on a regular basis; it does not mean being best friends who share everything over cocktails. A supportive and understanding management style will help build long-term successful relationships, exceptional productivity and long-term success with employees of any age,” states the article.

Warren Averett Workplace and CPI have assisted many organizations in developing strong leaders and managers. You can learn more about Warren Averett Workplace and our leadership development services here.

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