No we’re REALLY not.
Warning – Strong Kristi opinions ahead.
As a career HR Professional, it is a personal pet peeve of mine when I hear leaders, employees and organizations describe themselves as a family. Or to say that there is a family environment. Or that there is a culture of family. Or… Well, you get my point.
Just so that you know I’m not a big jerk, let me explain why this is a pet peeve of mine. Buckle up because there are several reasons.
1. Families (most anyway) have unconditional love. Organizations and their employees do
not. Do we care about each other? Yes! Unconditional love? No!
2. Families, often times, have no boundaries or very few. Organizations and their
employees should absolutely have healthy boundaries.
3. Families can wear swimsuits around each other. Strong opinion… I don’t think
4. Sometimes (cough cough) families can be dysfunctional. We want to try to not introduce
that into our workplaces.
5. Professional relationships are not always as permanent as family relationships. Treating
them as such or talking about them in that way is risky.
6. Feedback can get even harder than it already is to deliver.
So, while we want to have healthy workplace cultures, where we are inclusive and care about each other, that should and can be different than having a workplace that is like a family.
Want more information? I have a colleague that feels the same way. Check out the link to this article from Shelley Cadamy with Cadamy Business Consulting. Different spin, same story.
And I would love to hear from you if this article makes you real mad.