Managing Your Friends: How to be a professional leader… when you’re friends with your workforce

How to Effectively Manage Your Friends

If you’ve recently been promoted and are now managing employees who were once your peers, it’s a tricky road to navigate. You want to be fair and just, but also not give the impression that your friends get preferential treatment. Ways to manage employees who are your friends is a topic that many managers run into from time to time. Do you have what it takes?

Five Ways to Manage Employees Who Are Your Friends

You need to make some tough choices and own your status as a manager to get through it with flying colors. Just follow these tips from Wood Personnel Services:

  1. Be very clear about boundaries. Try your best to keep work and personal topics separate by only discussing work topics at work. If a friend attempts to talk about personal matters, ask them if you can simply pick the conversation back up after work.
  2. Maintain confidentiality. If you were just friends, dishing about the job might be a common conversation topic. But as a boss, you should never vent work frustrations with your employee friends or talk about other employees with them. Keep it professional.
  3. Always be fair. It goes without saying that employees who are friends should not get preferential treatment just because you’re friends. You’ll need to work hard to keep things even and fair between your entire team.
  4. Keep yourself in check. When interacting with employee friends, ask yourself if you would act this same way toward them if they weren’t your friends. Let this mindset guide you through all interactions.
  5. Make a difficult professional decision. For some, managing friends may simply be a road they decide they don’t want to travel. Your professional life can seep into your personal life and upset your friendships—and you may need to choose between your job and your friends. If you choose your job, this could mean moving people to a different role or team. Or, it could mean not accepting the promotion. It’s up to you and what you value most.

Check with Your Recruiter

If you ever need professional advice, your recruiter can help. This could include taking the skills you’ve gained and switching to a different job that puts you in a much more comfortable position.

Looking for a Recruiter?

Check out Wood Personnel. To learn more about us and what we offer, contact us today!

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