Nothing brings the wheels of production to a screeching halt like office drama. It makes the air crackle with tension, feelings are hurt, uncertainty permeates the environment and pretty soon, no one is happy. Except possibly those who initiate it. It’s safe to say that many managers consider office drama to be toxic and unwelcome. So what can you do when faced with situations that could bring down your business?
So what can you do when faced with situations that could bring down your business? Do any of these scenarios sound familiar?
Someone comes to you to report that someone else said that you won’t be getting that promotion because of (pick any reason). What should you do?
You’ve got two choices, but if you want to stop the gossip now, it’s probably best to reach out to your supervisor for clarity. If you’re the boss and you’re hearing that performance reviews or board room decisions about employee promotions is being leaked, stopped the presses! Your team needs to feel confident that you will keep that type of information to confidential.
A person you work with is always complaining about the company or its policies. Behind the scenes, they stoke the office drama by enlisting other people’s opinions. What should the employee or employer do?
For the employee, steer clear of people like this because eventually, it will end. You don’t want to be reprimanded for associating with someone who continually cranks up the rumor mill. Even if it appears that the human resources department is moving slowly on curtailing the problem, it’s best to avoid people with bad attitudes. When you’re the boss, give the negative employee the opportunity to talk to you about any problems he may see. It’s better to lead the behavior into a positive direction than allow it to continue unchecked. Eventually, deflating the office drama may mean letting someone go.
In all circumstances, insist on openness in the workplace, when it’s possible. Don’t except reports beginning with “they said” or “everyone says.” That’s a red flag that what you are about to hear is absolutely office drama. Encourage communication and hire people who know how to handle departmental grapevines. It’s human nature to want to chat at the water cooler but insist on problem solving and a positive attitude!