Workplace boundaries can be tough to put in place. For employees, they can be even tougher to try and maintain. As a manager, it can even be incredibly easy to overstep the mark and take advantage of their time. While a mistake is something you can apologise for and move past, you need to do your best to encourage these boundaries and their enforcement within the workplace. Here are some of the best ways to do that.
Assign PTO and Make Sure it’s Used
Personal time off needs to be assigned on a frequent basis, to ensure you’re legally compliant with local governance. However, you also need to ensure your employees are taking the time off they’re owed! If they’re saving it up for something like a big holiday, matters are different. But if they’re never taking time off when they’re allocated it, sit down and have a word. Time off is good for the brain, body, and soul, and taking it is one of the smallest yet healthiest boundaries an employee can set.
Give Your Employees Someone Else to Talk to
You don’t have to be the first and last line between your employees and a good time at work. In fact, it would be healthier all round if you weren’t! You can be the first line – they come to you if they’ve got a problem and you work together to fix it. But if you don’t have a solution, you can then use the services of something like an eap to ensure that mental load gets passed on to someone who can help.
Communicate Decisions, Especially Last Minute
If you need to make a last minute change to the schedule, you need to let the employees involved know as soon as possible. They need to be given the chance to both deny and accept the change – if it’s not a mandatory shift as outlined in their contract, the choice is up to them. This boundary is the one most often overstepped by managers, as when the business is in a bind, it’s natural to want to call in anyone who’s available. But you need to communicate your needs with as much time on the clock as possible.
Don’t Pretend to Have All the Answers
You’re a manager, and whilst you call the shots a good portion of the time, you’re not going to have all the answers. Don’t let employees expect that from you. If you’re not sure what to do, you need to collaborate, and work towards a mutual solution. You can’t just leave the work to someone and hope they come through. It would be irresponsible either way, but it’s especially awkward to take advantage of an employee’s initiative, and whether or not they’ve been encouraged to use it before.
Encouraging healthy boundaries in the workplace is possible. If you want your employees to believe in their work and trust you as a manager, the tips above are the way to go.