For HR professionals, making friends at work can be fraught with complexity, which is why it might be prudent to avoid happy hours after work and play it safe by keeping to yourself. After all, it can be hard to enjoy a drink with a colleague whose performance is under review or who is part of an ongoing HR investigation.
- Be consistent and always act with integrity – never reveal confidential company information to your workplace friends, even if you feel that they would benefit from this knowledge
- Join professional networks to meet professionals from other organisations so that you can discuss and workshop work-related issues in a confidential environment with professional peers – or post discussion items on the HC online forum
- Establish ground rules and stick to them – explain to work friends from the outset that circumstances may arise in the future in which you will need to act in the best interests of the company
- Be transparent – always disclose potential conflicts of interests to your manager
- If you do attend after-work functions, avoid gossip and stay away from the punch bowl
- Choose your work friends wisely – at the very least, wait until your potential friends have passed their probation period