Workplace drama isn’t exclusive to the IT industry and it’s a reality that company leaders have to acknowledge with if they want their organization to be successful.
Drama happens in the workplace because humans are emotional beings. We have pride and envy and many other emotions that cause us to butt heads, often over the smallest of things. Workplaces also put people in close proximity to each other for long periods of time, and familiarity breeds contempt, as they say.
As a company leader, it’s your job to acknowledge the human element of drama and do your best to keep everyone’s focus on doing a good job. The following tips can help you achieve those objectives.
Don’t feed into it
You can’t expect your workplace to be drama-free if you’re feeding into the rumor mill or pitting one person against another. This should go without saying, but we’ve all had that terrible boss who feeds into workplace drama.
You can also inadvertently feed into workplace drama by showing preferential treatment to certain employees. You might relate more to certain people on your staff, but you shouldn’t let your personal preferences affect decisions on things like handing out incentive and giving promotions.
Although it isn’t listed in most manager or executive job descriptions, part of your job is to bring employees together and get them all pulling in the same direction.
Foster positive relationships among your staff
Drama is much less likely to rear its ugly head if the people on your staff mostly get along. Provide your employees with regular opportunities to get to know one another better and to feel at ease being open with each other. You can also literally bring employees together by assigning group work that includes people who don’t normally come into contact with one another. Cross-training opportunities are another way to build positive relationships among employees.
Support strong communication
When people stop effective communication with each other, it makes errors and misunderstandings more like, which leads to drama.
You can enhance communication within your team with regular informational and problem-solving meetings. Organizational communication tools can also help foster effective communication. These tools include online chat program, videoconferences, bulletin boards voicemail and texting.
Encourage empowerment and participation
When employees don’t feel like they have much control over their working situation, they grow frustrated and those feelings can spill over, creating conflict. However, when they are actively participating and engaged, employees are more likely to address issues, rather than let them simmer.
You can encourage workplace participation by asking for input on major decisions and establishing self-directed work teams. In addition to lowering the potential for drama, employee empowerment efforts have been shown to have a positive effect on the performances of both individuals and the entire organization.
At Software Specialists, we work with company leaders to give them the staffing support they need to achieve your goals. If your organization is currently in need of a custom talent acquisition solution, please contact us today.