Should You "Love" Your Employees?

I thought a blog post with a little bit of a Valentine's Day theme might be fun today. Let's start out with a clarification: I'm talking about "love" in a purely platonic way - if you are thinking about this in a different way, you may want to speak to HR.

I've mentioned several times in the past how managing was different when I started my professional career. I was taught to keep an emotional distance from employees - you didn't want emotions to get in the way of having to make tough decisions. It seemed like good advice at the time - now I realize it was trash.

I don't think there is a correct answer to this, but I would say loving your employees can be a good thing. You not only want to have a good personal relationship with them, you want to be empathetic. You want to care about them as people. When you do that for any amount of time, caring at a deeper level is bound to happen.

I find that when I run into people I used to work with, it is like seeing a cousin who I haven't seen in years. I'm happy to see them, I enjoy being able to share memories, and I enjoy hearing what they have been doing. I always ask about families because I love to hear how kids grow up and their successes.

In short, love your employees if you can and want to. It isn't a bad thing and it certainly isn't a requirement.