If a manager should not be friends with their directs - does that mean we should not hire friends or family?

Even if we feel they are the best candidate for the position?

pucciot's picture
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Certainly many people can make this work in many small and family run businesses.

In those cases the roles and responsibilities need to be clearly discussed.

Overall, I would reccomend against it.


It really puts the strength and nature of the relationship to the test.


In my experience and perspective - not a wise thing to do.



jrb3's picture
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This depends on the organization.  Most of the orgs I've been in have been large enough to have a general policy on interacting professional and personal relationships.  Spouses had to be sufficiently separated to not have one reporting or overseeing (maybe not even interacting) with the other -- had this twice in my career, where we ended up individual contributors in unrelated divisions.

Some orgs deal with the tensions differently.  Lots of lifestyle businesses are just spouses partnering (one managing a few people), some have one also managing the spouse, and this works well for them and the org.  And plenty of startups begin with two buddies and absorb friends as they grow along.

Default I've seen in orgs just large enough to need multiple managers (equivalently, a third layer in the org chart):  by default, no family or friends unless cleared by everyone else affected.  Once a fourth layer comes in, it seems (to me) to swing heavily to the large-org explicit policy of "no friends or family (especially spouses) within one's chain-of-command, either up or down".