November 20

Work Is Not a Family

Some workplaces like to parade the notion that their work culture is a family. No! The workplace is not a family. Family membership is uncon- ditional and is not contingent on performance. On the other hand, a job is contingent on delivering on expectations and maintaining appropriate behavior, and at any point, your employment can be revoked if you don’t measure up.

When companies talk about work culture as a family, they give people a false sense of security that really shouldn’t be there. Yes, it’s important to feel psychologically safe, but at no point should the signal be sent that work peers are similar to their bloodline.

Why is this important? Because whether you lead a team or are on one, it’s easy to slip into this family mindset out of insecurity. It’s import- ant to have a clear understanding of where you stand in relation to your manager, your peers, and the people you lead and to not allow insecurity to cause you to make promises you can’t keep or expect treatment that is unrealistic.

Don’t confuse your work team for your family. Teams are not family.


Do you consider your work team a family? How might you adapt those perceptions to be more accurate?

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