July 16, 2019
Author: Ben Halverson
Organization: Lorman Education Service
In a perfect world, everything is running smoothly at the office, employees are at an all time high, and everyone is engaged in their respective work tasks, but we don't live in a perfect world. The truth is, some employees can bring drama to your work environment that can kill your bottom line. A drama king or queen is the last thing you need at the office and the longer your business let's it go on the more it can affect your employees, cost your business money, and productivity. The following suggests how to effectively eliminate drama that can be negatively impacting your work environment today.
First things first, what is a drama queen or king? These individuals are typically the first one to say "I don't do drama!" These are people who have already decided there is drama to be found and they have identified themselves to be outside of being held accountable. Drama is always looking for more drama. You will find these individuals searching for allies around every corner. You can easily spot this on social media, break rooms or at social work events.
To eliminate workplace drama, you first have to identify the source. Pay attention to your employees by taking notes on employee behavior, conversation, and decreased productivity. Once you have identified the source of your drama, here are 5 ways to eliminate it from your workplace to avoid jeopardizing your bottom line:
How To Eliminate Workplace Drama
Anti-gossip or no drama policies in a workplace handbook may not be legal and therefore unenforceable. The NLRB which has reviewed this area gives employees the ability to still talk about concerns of the workplace, wages and employee treatment. When creating a workplace policy, the policy must be carefully crafted. First, a policy should state that this policy is not intended to remove the employees right to talk about wages, hours or working conditions. A policy should explain clearly what drama or gossip is not acceptable. Clearly lay out examples of how gossip or drama may be considered harassment or bullying.
Monitoring workplace technology is also a great policy to have to help curb drama. Having a monitoring policy on workplace technology can help reduce unwanted and non-work related communications.
Having a social media policy in place will also prevent drama and gossip. Employees should know that while social media may be used for their personal use, it cannot be used to post items such as trade secrets, corporate strategies, financial information or any upcoming private company news.
Document, Document, Document
Documenting workplace drama is a great way to have a reference for future or repeated occurrences. While just saying you are being dramatic is not enough, documenting the use of workplace technology for non-work use can help show an effort to curb the drama through workplace policies. Drama may be causing a loss of productivity so you should be documenting how work output has decreased below the levels set forth in the job description. When an employee persists on being a drama queen or king, you should have it well documented on how its breaking workplace policies as this could be cause for action. In fact, having it documented will protect your business from retaliation from a dramatic employee in the instance that they're reprimanded or terminated.
Clarify Office Roles/Responsibilities
Drama can quickly spread throughout the office when your employees are not sure of their roles or responsibilities. Your job is clarifying the roles of each of your employees and delegating tasks. However, the role of the employees is staying within the boundaries of those roles and responsibilities. Job descriptions should include who reports to whom, what tasks are being delegated to who, and the type of authority and decision-making goes along with each role to avoid workplace drama. In fact, according to Work Chron those roles should be made public to avoid workplace drama about employee roles and responsibilities.
Institute A Dispute Resolution Policy
Quickly mediate conflict that arises from drama within the office by creating a dispute resolution policy. A dispute resolution policy will let your employees know that you're aware of the problem and give you an opportunity to eliminate any office conflict. The dispute resolution policy should be available to all employees to air their grievances. Give each of your employees a say in the matter, but back this up with how your company handles/resolves the conflict.
Employ The Help Of A Professional
There is no price on business. If you don't have a current drama resolution policy in place or ways to handle an office drama king/queen, employ the help of a professional. Invite a workplace behavioral expert to host a seminar to educate your employees on the impact of workplace drama. In fact, an expert can offer advice and resources to curve future workplace drama.
Bottom line: Remember, a drama king or queen will never see themselves as part of the problem. But if not handled appropriately, they can affect your bottom line, talent, and respect.
Learn more about workplace drama and how it may affect your workplace. Contact us at Lorman for more details on educational resources to resolve drama that can impact your work environment.