Getting too close to the boss could be fatal to your career

By Murigi Macharia

Can an employee be fired for socialising with the boss after work?

The answer to this questions is simple. Many organisations encourage friendships between employees at and away from workplace, there is need for caution over whom workers socialise with.

Some bosses don’t entertain junior employees who make themselves overly friendly in social places.

Employees who take chances to embarrass the boss outside the workplace have often found themselves in trouble because the boss wants to remain in charge at all times

Take the case of Ayub Khamani who was summarily dismissed.

He had routinely ambushed his boss during his social binges and discussed these encounters with colleagues back at the office.

Close Proximity

By revealing that he had been with the boss at a social place and addressing his senior by his nickname in the office, Khamani wanted to project that image of being "close" to the boss.

This was meant to intimidate the other employees through his imagined close proximity to the boss. This habit earned him a summary dismissal.

What is the point here? While office friendships are encouraged, they are also known to be the source of trouble when taken to the extremes.

Junior staff are encouraged to cultivate the right professional relationship with all colleagues at all levels, whether in relation to the boss or colleagues in the same ranks.

It is important for employees to remain honest and consistent in their relationships and by all means avoiding status battles that could strain relations in the office.

Employees should appreciate various forms of relationships at the workplace to make informed decisions over relationships in the office.- Superordinate relationship explains the way all employees working under you relate to you. You enjoy superordinate relationship with all employees who are directly answerable to you.

An employee enjoying this status can invite his junior for drink outside the workplace.

- Subordinate relationship explains the way employees relate with those working over them or those senior officers to whom they are directly answerable to.

The manager of an organisation has subordinate relationship with the managing director.

An employee in a subordinate position may not invite his boss for a drink.

- Equality relationship obtains between colleagues of the same rank. These are employees on the same grade or workers doing the same job. These are the people who should ideally cultivate close intra-office relationships, including extending their friendships to social places.

- Peripheral relationships are between employees whose jobs are not similar. For instance, a manager enjoys a peripheral relationship with those operating the switchboard.

But respect between these employees must be mutual for smooth working relations.

-Client-oriented relationship is between employees and customers. Employees must realise that the client is king and must be treated with care and courtesy.

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