I'm overwhelmed with personal invitations from employees

Jim Berlucchi

I run a small company and I’m often getting invited to employees’ parties for their kids’ events, like graduations, weddings and first Communions. I hate to offend them, but if I go to everything, my spring and summer weekends would never be my own. Can I pick and choose, or is it all or nothing?

Answer:

Render to employees that which is employees’ and to weekends that which is weekends.

You’re an employer, not a relative. If you’re worried about offending, perplexed about picking and choosing and crunched on weekends, the situation is out of hand. As an employer, you owe your employees a just wage, good working conditions and personal dignity. You don’t owe them your attendance at their significant family events. As a matter of fact, too much familiarity can undermine the working relationship. What if you need to discipline or terminate an employee? Would you hand them a pink slip at the birthday party? Be clear in your own mind what you want to do. There are no obligations. Then weigh each invitation on its own merits based on the event and relationship. For instance, the wedding of a long-term employee is not equal to the graduation of a recent employee’s son or daughter. A congratulatory card (no gift necessary) is sufficient and courteous. Then go fishing.