Most of us have experienced workplace drama firsthand and understand how it can drag a practice down or at least make the working environment very unpleasant. Workplace drama can be spread by employee(s) who bully, backstab, gossip and might have concerns on job security, stress, and burnout, but can be summed up as any human obstacle to the medical practice’s peace and prosperity. Sometimes the drama is subtle and difficult to identify until the damage is done, and other times it’s spilled on the floor causing a huge problem with productivity loss and possibly turnover.
As practice leaders we can actively discourage and reduce workplace drama which is usually due to lack of clarity, a relationship issue, or resistance to change. Some tips on reducing workplace drama are:
practice good listening;
share behavior expectations and include in employee handbook;
be transparent with employees to prevent inventing things that aren’t there;
link to performance reviews;
recognize employees with good behavior; and
be consistent is dealing with drama and let the policy be the bad guy
Do you have a workplace drama addict? Human addiction which provides some sort of pleasure can take the form of workplace drama, such as, enjoys gossiping, constantly in crisis, talks about drama in news, tends to overreact or make a bigger issue of something than it is. To help you decide when to intervene, ask yourself how big of deal will this be one year from now? Am I taking this more personally than I should? What does the employee really want? Does this person’s behavior need to be addressed?
Former President Teddy Roosevelt stated, “with discipline anything is possible”. Meaning the ability to control our conduct by using sound judgement, rather than allowing ourselves to be driven by impulse or emotion. Workplace drama is a choice and it takes work to stop it.
Best wishes for a drama-free workplace.