The Employer- Employee Relationships Defined.
When an employer hires a new employee, he is not just bringing a new member of the workforce aboard, he is also starting a new relationship. Because employers and employees often work in close quarters, they necessarily develop relationships. Managing these relationships is vital to business success, as strong relationships can lead to greater employee happiness and even increased productivity. To reap these benefits, keep the dynamics of your employer-employee relationship in mind.
Generally, employer and employee relationships should be mutually respectful. The degree of closeness in these relationships will depend on both the employer and the employee. Some employers opt to keep their employees at a distance and, in doing so, ensure that there is no confusion as to the hierarchy that exists between them. Others elect to become friendlier with their employees, seeing this as a way to amp up employee happiness. While neither option is entirely right or wrong, it is wise to avoid getting too close to employees, as doing so can cause the line between employer and employee to become blurred.
The employer-employee relationship should be one of mutual reliance. The employer is relying upon the employee to perform her job and, in doing so, keep the business running smoothly. Conversely, the employee is relying upon the employer to pay her and enable her to support herself, and potentially her family, financially.
Just as with all relationships, the employer and employee relationship is one that must develop over time. Employers can promote the building of relationships by speaking candidly with their employees about their lives, asking them about their families and learning about their interests. Similarly, employees can promote the building of this relationship by being open with their employer and sharing information about themselves and their lives.
Though the type of employee and employer relationship that is considered appropriate varies from company to company, boundaries exist at almost all companies. Generally, it is unwise for employers to develop romantic relationships with their employees. Similarly, employers should exercise care to ensure that the relationship they develop with one employee isn't notably closer than the relationships they develop with others, as this can lead to concerns regarding favoritism or similar issues of unfairness within the workplace.