A life without drama would be unexciting and dull, but workplace drama…most of us can do without it. Excessive drama, especially when misplaced, can cause negative attitudes, gossip, misinformation, and distractions. If it’s not addressed and diffused, it can cause huge problems with relationships, business results and even the health of you and your employees.
Here are a few tips to reduce the drama.
1. Stop it before it starts. Commit to and post a “No Gossip” policy. Define gossip for your team. Let them know why you won’t tolerate it. Gossip causes drama.
2. Have a team training. Train your staff members on your mission statement, expectation, required results, customer service, etc. The more focused and confident your team is, the less drama you will endure. You may also want to walk around after the training and follow up to see what your team learned. Ask them for suggestions for next time. Keep them involved.
3. Keep your team focused. If your team has goals and is inspired to work hard on delivering results….the drama will subside. They will be too busy talking to each other about results, and helping each other get to the finish line. Make sure goals inspire teamwork and not backbiting and drama.
4. Keep your team busy. Make sure your staff members know what they should be doing. They may need a daily to do list, and then a list of special projects to work on when they have downtime. Tie a small reward to productivity if you need to. When people are bored, the chances of drama increases.
5. Have consequences in place for rule breaking. This isn’t a punishment, but it may be a note placed in the staff members file. Maybe you just take them to the side and explain, again, why this is unacceptable. Believe it or not, some people struggle with needing drama in their lives, and it will be a real struggle for them to NOT bring the drama to work. They need you as their supervisor to help remind them why it’s a bad idea. They need coaching, and that’s your job.
Eventually, if you implement a few of these tips, especially #3, the drama will reduce. Your people will be more focused. You will be healthier and happier, and the business will start seeing better results. Drama may pop back up when the team isn’t as focused, so staying ahead of the issue will be key.