A decade ago, any HR professional worth his/her KRA sheet would have tut-tut ted at the idea of a friendship between a manager and his/her employees. How is one supposed to get work out of the minions and dole out orders if they think they are your friends, they’d rationalize. But not now. Companies are encouraging bosses to befriend their brethren. In the era of attrition and competition, bosses are the key differentiators in the retention game. Enter the friendly boss. Heshe will take you out for drinks, foot the bill for team lunches and even send you a Facebook friend request.But with one caveat: he’s friendly, not a friend.
Befriending the boss may be common, but what you need to know is where to draw the line. No two bosses are alike leadership styles are as diverse as the people leading. While some get the work done by creating camaraderie, some use the clique mentality and some just stay aloof, driving the team remotely. Assess how heshe behaves with you and some of their other reporters. Take your decision based on that. The professional equation shouldn’t be affected because of or due to the lack of friendship. Boss’ friendships are different from regular workplace friendships. Obviously, you can’t be on back-slapping terms with higher. No touching, fist bumps or high fives, It’s only a formal friendship.
A study conducted by marketing firm Russell Herder found about a third of men who are connected to their supervisors on Facebook say the online relationship gives them a leg up at work. For one, peering into your boss’ personal life gives you more to talk about offline. On the flip side, another study conducted by Robert Half International found 57% of managers feel uncomfortable when a staff member sends them a friend request.
But the boss calls the shots. Don’t send him/her the request, let the first move come from that side. As long as you are not berating your boss or your workplace across social media, it is perfectly acceptable to add your boss to your social networks.
A fool-proof way to negotiate this conundrum: Have a double identity on Facebook. One work profile (with PRO as a suffix) and a personal one exclusively for people outside of office and never the twain shall meet. Add the boss and even your office colleagues to your personal network if you maintain the proper digital profile. This means no rants, no minute-by-minute updates, no Facebook fighting, no silly forwards and 100picture posts anything that can mar your impression professionally.