Setting professional boundaries at work is important. Personal boundaries too.
When you and your team have a behavioral framework to work within, everyone is more relaxed and empowered to do a good job.
Here are some important boundaries to set with your team.
Set Time-Off/Vacation Boundaries
Your employee’s personal time belongs to them. Make sure you’re allowing your team to completely unplug at the end of the workday, and while they are on vacation.
Having policies around employee vacation time will help you and your team keep a respectful separation between work and home life.
When setting boundaries, have clear guidelines between what’s acceptable and what’s not. It’s also important to protect your own time. After all, if you don’t respect your time, how can you expect someone else to?
“While it’s casually talked about a lot in the business world, work/life balance is something we should all be taking more seriously. As our ability to be available for work becomes more prevalent, finding balance has never been more important!” – COO Alliance Blog
Set Communication Boundaries
“Companies who communicate well have higher levels of employee engagement” – COO Alliance Blog
Setting communication boundaries will help you build trust and better rapport with your team.
Ensure everyone on your team is clear on how and when it is appropriate to communicate with one another. Show your team you respect their communication style and make sure they don’t feel pressured to be available 24/7.
The Government of Canada suggests “disconnecting from work-related e-communications outside of work hours” as a way to respect your employee’s personal time.
Respectful communication is an essential part of good management. When your team is able to completely ‘clock-out’ and ‘sign off’ at the end of the day, they will be more productive when they are at work.
Set Social Media Boundaries
Does your company have a social media policy? Are you making sure your employees aren’t posting confidential information online? Do your employees ‘follow’ you? Do you ‘follow’ your employees?
Social media is now a part of everyday life, so make sure there are clear guidelines for you and your team.
“Bosses should wait to befriend rather than do the friending… It gives employees space to decide on their own whether they want to share anything at all. However, if this rule goes unspoken, it might also leave certain employees wondering why the boss is friends with everyone but them.” – Slate.com
As a manager, make sure you state your personal preferences regarding social media use. This will help you set clear boundaries and make sure your subordinates don’t take any online activity personally.
Set Personal Boundaries
Interpersonal boundaries are an important part of your team’s productivity.
When you respect individual preferences and boundaries, everyone feels safe and can bring their best to their job.
“The first step in setting [personal] boundaries is getting clear about what your limits are–emotional, mental, physical, spiritual, etc. You do this by paying increased attention to yourself and noticing what you can tolerate and accept as well as what makes you feel uncomfortable and stressed.” – Inc.com
Weak personal boundaries can lead to co-workers feeling bullied, neglected, and unappreciated. The lack of boundaries can also result in the loss of respect for management.
Setting boundaries does not have to be contentious. Setting professional boundaries is a way to show your team you are respectful of everyone’s needs, including your own. A strong code of ethics will always encourage trust and guide company culture in a positive direction!
If you have questions or would like more information, I’d be happy to help. Please send an email, and my team will get in touch with you!