Second Thoughts About Getting Personal In The Work Place
Published in Jan 2019 / Updated in Aug 2021
Nelly laughs lightly as she enters the office. The manager holds her by the waist, and the door locks behind them. She’s been away on a business trip for one week.
The manager said she was doing benchmarking from other overseas companies on ways how to better the sales and execute marketing strategies.
See, for sales and marketing personnel, you have to be chatty and engaging. Being chatty is not the problem, the problem happens when you overdo it and get too personal. It is this kind of relationship that has led to ill relationships between nelly and her co-workers.
They think she is entitled to job-related favors due to her relationship with the big fishes of the company. They believe that the so said benchmarking is a story to mask the fully paid vacation she just received.
This story drives me to the main point of this article; personal relationships at the place of work and why you should think twice about them.
For a successful company or organization, the employees or workers have to be positively engaged. Negative relationships may result in disengagement towards the particular job as well as their duties.
The interdependence at a workplace is tightly knit in a way that wrong relationships may cause unwanted disruptions. Some positions in an employment setting like human resource, sales, and marketing may require that extra engagement.
It is up to you to know when it’s getting too personal and when to back off. Personal relationships can result in so many ills that may include the following:
– Waste of time
See Nelly may have wanted to discuss the results of the benchmarking. The manager missed talking to her, and he’s been looking toward to talk to her. His wife is filing for divorce, and the teenage son is in rehab.
Nelly is not interested in all that, but since the manager hints at it, she can’t just dismiss it. So instead of discussing the results, finding a way forward for their sales and marketing, she sits there and listens to the manager as he pours out his personal problems.
It’s not her fault; it’s not the manager fault either, but time is money, and money is being wasted.
When personal relationships are developed at the workplace, there is bound to be a disruption that exists between employees. There grow feelings of being isolated, like a deserted island of some sort.
There is a lost interconnection between the relative employees. For instance, Nelly will not be able to relate with her coworkers the way she used to given the relationship between her and the manager.
She will feel alienated and isolated from the activities done by other employees.
Suppose she was just being friendly and chatty as her job requires, then the manager is the one developing a personal relationship. Sometimes this happens, you become nice and all of a sudden you have grown two large shoulders for the problems of others. There is bound to be awkwardness in the end when the air is cleared.
– Criticism, ridicule, and scrutiny
When you are too friendly with co-workers and bosses at work, your life becomes an open book that is subject to criticism, ridicule, and scrutiny. Any promotion, salary raise, or goodwill at the workplace is often thought of as favors for the kind of relationship you have with the bosses.
For instance, Nelly’s coworkers will think she got the opportunity due to her relationship with the manager, and should she get any promotion it will be said that she has something going on with the manager.
It even gets worse if it happens immediately after the successful trip. Her life is put on the line and analyzed. The receptions will think that she’s trying to steal the manager away.
They will have various reasons as to why she’s still single and a product of a single mother. Scrutiny and ridicule will become her daily verses.
– Misplaced priorities
When personal relationships are developed at the place of work, the priorities are diverted. More time is spent on irrelevant issues and petty grudges. Splinter groups arise, and rebellious behaviors begin to cook.
The receptionist, for example, will not respect Nelly’s word because it’s her relationship with the managers that has gotten her the favors. The other employees won’t recognize her efforts of trying to earn her favors, they will see it as a strategy to impress the big boss.
The assistant manager, on the other hand, will strategize to take over the company from the manager because he will think that he has lost his ethics.
Instead of creating groups to look for means to better the company, gatherings will be made to discuss and scrutinize the relationship.
When priorities are misplaced, the target goal of the company becomes irrelevant, and the company vision is as good as dead.
It is not just you that suffers when you encourage personal relationships at work. The workforce suffers, and the whole company goes down with you.
It’s okay to be nice at the place of work, but when personal boundaries are exceeded, that is a horror story cooking.
For an employee or boss at the place of work, always know the difference between being a nice friendly co-worker or boss, and when to be the best friend or relative.