You have questions and we have answers! I get asked all kinds of business questions and I thought that some of them might be best answered on the blog. Granted, if I don't know I send them to an expert who is more qualified.
Small Biz Owner Question: My employees seem to have a lot of family and personal drama in their lives. They do the job they need to do, but they seem bent on sharing all the ups and downs that are going on at home. It isn't that I don't want to know, but really, I just want to maintain a professional relationship with them. What should I say the next time it comes up?
Moxie Answer: Professionalism is taught and can continue to be taught throughout a persons career. If you want to maintain a bit of distance with your employees, I suggest that you let them know that although you care about their personal life, at work you would like to focus on work. Yes, it sounds harsh, but it would help tremendously to just be honest instead of half hearted-ly listening. If they are young or new to the working world this is a great time to just tell them that work relationships are different then gabbing with their best friends. If they are older, just be clear. When it comes up again, because it will, just let them know you are busy right now, but happy to talk to them about it after work.
Professionalism in the workplace matters if you are running a small five and dime to a large corporation. When the edges get completely blurred it can be hard to do the things that often need to be done with employees. Friendly is different then friends, sorry to say.
To help employees get on track you can suggest that they focus on being competent, reliable, honest and respectful. Those four components of the workplace will offer more for them at your business and in the future. Leave the drama at the door!
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