A lot of managers become managers because they are good at what they do.  Not because they know how to manage others.  This is one of the (many) reasons it’s so important for employers to train their supervisory employees.  One thing it’s really important to emphasize — especially to those managers who rose up through the ranks — is now that they are “management,” they have to maintain appropriate boundaries with their subordinates at all times.  This is a hard concept for many to get, and harder still to implement.  But maintaining a professional boundary is critical for a number of reasons: avoiding legal claims (e.g. a perception of claim that a manager created or participated in a hostile work environment), setting the right tone for the workplace (think respectful and legal), and, ultimately, demonstrating leadership skills (not engaging in favoritism, for example).

So what should this training look like?  It can be included in your run of the mill anti-harassment training.  There can be a piece on appropriate boundaries, or avoiding blurred lines.  How once one dons the manager hat, it’s there for good and doesn’t ever come off.  It’s something a lot of managers will need some solid guidance on.

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