I always wonder at what level you need to have compassion for an employee. Even though there is always a fine line of trust between you and your employee, I still wonder. I was always told in high school by a basketball coach that “if you give them an inch, they take a mile.” That sticks in the back of my mind every time I let someone slide with missing a shift or coming in late. I always hope that if I give them my respect, they will respect me enough to not take advantage.
When you manage part-time employees, and spend a lot of time with them at work, friendships naturally start to develop. You start to prefer some employees over others and again naturally, the more motivated employees start to shine. It took me a long time to actually see that line between friendship and boss through making a lot of mistakes and witnessing what my employees get away with. I feel like on the side of friendship, there is trust, and on the side of boss, there is respect. If you lose that friendship, then trust is gone, and you become a “bad” boss, then respect is lost.
Think about where you are with your employees. Do you let slide far too often, or do you treat everyone as equals and hold everyone to the same accountability? At the end of the day, your a manager for a reason; to produce profits, to make your staff more efficient, and to make tough decisions. The friendship is an added bonus, but shouldn’t be taken advantage of.