QUESTION: Having good family ties with subordinates helps a manager form a better team.
FACT: Family ties will be put to the test when a decision adversely impacts the subordinate.
Some managers believe that having good family ties with subordinates leads to a better understanding at the workplace and makes it easier to develop strong bonding. Yes, there is no doubt that this will help in better teaming, but there are disadvantages, too.
Just like other spheres of life, work life, too, has its ups and downs. There will be situations when, as a manager, one has to take tough decisions which might adversely impact on team members. Though a good manager explains the circumstances behind every decision, there is no guarantee that it will be received well by subordinates. Similarly, some actions or responses from subordinates might not go down well with the manager.
In such cases, the respective families too feel the heat. Suddenly, the frequency of interactions at the family level may reduce, or, in extreme cases, stop completely, And even if the two families meet, the warmth might be missing, and after some time, carrying on with the relationship becomes a burden, Such events will put your spouse and children in a tight spot, and they might have to adjust to a sudden change in their social circle. Thus, tension at the workplace spreads to your home.
It’s always great for a manager to understand his Subordinates better, but if he acts soft or is indecisive on major issues due to the strong family ties involved, it might adversely impact his career.
WHAT CAN YOU DO? There is no denying that having a good interaction With your team members at the family level can help in building a good team relationship, but you should determine the level and the frequency of such interaction so that it can withstand the ups and downs of work life. Both you and your employee need to know how to effectively set boundaries for a good working relationship.