How To Blend Friendliness And Professionalism At Work
When you’re at work, you want to keep your relationships professional but also build rapport with others. Being on friendly terms with your co-workers makes it easier and more enjoyable to collaborate. Employees who are also friends can encourage each other, celebrate successes together and lend a helping hand when needed.
However, there are some downsides to workplace friendships, according to Carmis Adams, a performance consultant at Insperity. Some of these potential downsides include impaired productivity when too much socializing happens and tension when disagreements arise. If bosses become friends with their employees, other team members may feel left out and that their boss is showing favoritism.
It can feel like a delicate balance of being likable while also focusing on the work at hand. So, what can you do to strike that balance at work? Keep reading this issue of Promotional Consultant Today, where we share guidance from Adams on how to keep things friendly but professional.
Make sure everyone feels part of the group. You can be professional and friendly by creating the kind of workplace where everyone feels like they are valued. Everyone should feel free to share ideas or raise concerns without fear of retribution or being shut down, says Adams. She says that when it makes sense, bosses can consider shifting project teams around so that different employees can get a chance to know each other.
Create mentorships or buddy programs. These programs can often set the stage for workplace friendships, especially for new employees. Even if someone in your organization has switched departments, it helps to have a go-to they can contact with questions. Adams adds that these programs can also help foster professionalism in more junior staff members.
Form cross-functional teams. Adams suggests finding employees with complementary roles who are interested in learning other aspects of the organization or expanding their business acumen. They may also want to learn more about their colleagues in other departments. By creating cross-functional teams, leaders can help their employees get to know more people outside of their department.
Invite all employees to social activities. Another easy way to keep it professional but also friendly is to host social events and ensure all employees are welcome to attend. While business comes first, you also want your employees to be able to forge effective working relationships, says Adams. This means they must have a chance to get to know others in your organization in more relaxed settings. Whether you host company picnics or occasional lunch outings, give your team members a chance to chat about things other than work.
You know the saying, “Don’t mix business with pleasure.” However, you can be productive and professional while being yourself and making friends at work. If you lead a team, strive to create an environment where everyone feels included. Mentorship or buddy programs can help teach professionalism to new workers and help employees build friendships. Leaders can also encourage members from different teams to get to know each other, whether for formal work projects or informal conversations at lunch. With the right approach, you can be friendly and professional at the same time.
Compiled by Audrey Sellers
Source: Carmis Adams is a performance consultant at Insperity.