How to Set Healthy Boundaries in the Workplace as a Manager

Frances RoyJuly 12, 2022

When business leaders set healthy boundaries in the workplace, it can transform their ability to manage and motivate their employees. We’ve gathered information to help you understand what healthy boundaries are and how you can implement them at work as a manager.

What are healthy boundaries at work?

Setting healthy boundaries is different for each individual, but there are some common traits that can contribute to your team’s long-term success and wellbeing. Boundaries are healthy limits we set with someone or something. When we set healthy boundaries, we can better understand our responsibilities helping us focus on our own work, values, and standards. Overall, creating boundaries assists in identifying and communicating our personal limits.

How do you implement healthy boundaries as a manager?

One set of boundaries will not work for your entire team. You’ll have to spend time learning what works best for your people. Some may require a more rigid structure to be efficient and creative, while others may require more freedom and flexibility to function at their most productive level. Effective boundaries depend on understanding your employees and their characteristics to ensure that you set ones they’ll be eager to follow.

Most companies already have a few boundaries set in their workplace. These codes and policies likely exist and spell out expectations on things like handling confidential material, manner of dress, and expected conduct. Employees adhere to these boundaries without direction from you as their manager, and this is a great starting point when deciding what additional boundaries you may want to consider. Use boundaries as a way to create an environment people enjoy and support the accomplishment of company goals. 

Lastly, managers must keep an eye on interpersonal boundaries between employees and themselves and employees. These interpersonal boundaries ensure that coworkers can work together productively with fair workloads. Weak interpersonal boundaries can lead to certain employees being taken advantage of as they take on too heavy of a workload, which often leads to feelings of stress and burnout. As a manager, there may be times when you also set boundaries for yourself, such as dedicated personal time. A simple and direct boundary on what times you are working and reachable for your employees will go a long way in stopping non-emergency emails or phone calls when you’re off the clock. 

Have you set specific boundaries in your workplace? We’d love to hear what works for you! 

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