Does Your Staff Consider You a Boss or a Buddy?

 
 
By Dennis McCafferty  |  Posted 10-21-2015 Email
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
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    Does Your Staff Consider You a Boss or a Buddy?
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    Does Your Staff Consider You a Boss or a Buddy?

    For CIOs and other managers, it’s all about balance when developing top-down friendships in the workplace—and here’s what some workers think of their bosses.
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    Aligned Association
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    Aligned Association

    74% of surveyed employees describe their relationship with their boss as "excellent" or "good."
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    Open Dialogue
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    Open Dialogue

    80% feel comfortable being honest with their boss about critical workplace issues, and 79% said their boss is completely honest with them when discussing these topics.
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    Professional Limitations
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    Professional Limitations

    51% do not consider their boss as a friend—despite the solid standing of the relationship. More than two out of five said the relationship is exclusively professional.
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    Schmooze Session
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    Schmooze Session

    82% socialize with their boss during work hours or at company-related events.
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    Off-Time
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    Off-Time

    Only 46% hang out with their boss outside of the office.
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    Social Stigma
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    Social Stigma

    Just 18% are connected with their boss via their personal social media channels.
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    Advantageous Arrangement, Part I
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    Advantageous Arrangement, Part I

    60% believe that employees who are friends with their boss receive special treatment in the workplace.
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    Advantageous Arrangement, Part II
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    Advantageous Arrangement, Part II

    56% believe that colleagues who are close to the boss receive more frequent personal attention, and 52% said these co-workers benefit by having greater schedule flexibility.
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    Gender Divide: Friendly Assessment
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    Gender Divide: Friendly Assessment

    53% of men consider their boss a friend, compared to 45% of women who do.
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    Gender Divide: Happy Hour
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    Gender Divide: Happy Hour

    50% of men will socialize with their boss outside the office, while just 43% of women will.
 

Do your tech staffers consider you a boss or a buddy? If they're like the majority of professionals, they consider you more of a manager than a friend, according to a recent survey from Spherion. This is actually a good thing: The vast majority of employees describe their relationship with their primary supervisor as a positive one. They also feel comfortable initiating candid discussions about critical workplace issues with their boss. But they don't seek to hang out with their managers outside of work, and few will connect to their boss through their personal social media networks. Such boundaries help avoid what is perceived as favorable treatment for colleagues who cultivate a personal friendship with the boss. "Top-down friendships really come down to balance," said Sandy Mazur, division president at Spherion. "Given the focus on engagement and retention in the workplace, bosses should help establish a middle ground where employees feel they can approach them to discuss both personal and workplace matters. But there also are clear boundaries so that time spent at work is devoted primarily to professional conversations and tasks." Nearly 940 U.S. workers took part in the research.

 
 
 
 
 
Dennis McCafferty is a freelance writer for Baseline Magazine.

 
 
 
 
 
 

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