Strategies for Reducing Workplace Drama in Small Businesses

strategies for Reducing Workplace Drama in Small BusinessesAh, workplace drama. No matter the industry, no matter the leadership, and no matter the number of people in a team, it’s always present to some degree in every office in the world. This is why, you’ll notice, I titled this blog post “Strategies for reducing drama in small businesses,” not “eliminating” it completely.

Because here’s the thing about office drama: even if most folks get along well, there will always be at least one person who either doesn’t clean up after themself, gossips about other teams, or has a problem that a younger colleague has a higher salary. But more often than not, it’s multiple people who are drama-stirring. Why? Well, at the risk of sounding dramatic, drama begets drama. And once multiple people get involved, chaos can ensue.

Workplace drama leads to negative relationships, which can cause a toxic environment, which – you guessed it – leads to high employee turnover. Not to mention, it can kill productivity and collaboration. This all is bad news for both employees and employers – reduced job satisfaction and increased stress for the team, and increased hiring and training costs, along with a damaged reputation for the business.

Thankfully, you don’t have to just sit there and take it – with the strategies laid out below, you can get any workplace drama under control. I’m sharing about this topic because I am a bestselling personal development author – with over 2 million books sold. Plus I share about conflict communication in my therapist recommended online course Manage & Avoid Drama Llamas.

Communicate, and Then Communicate Some More

When there is an issue in the office, it’s crucial to talk about it in order to fix it. This is why regular and open communication is essential. 

This goes for both one-on-one conversations and team meetings where everyone can speak up; you need both to manage workplace problems. However, it’s not just your team that needs to communicate – during both one-on-one check-ins and team meetings, you, as the leader, should share as much as possible about the business’s direction, changes, and why certain decisions are made.

Be the Change You Want to See

Your responsibility as a leader is to set the tone for the entire workplace. So, try your best to demonstrate a calm and collected approach to various work challenges as well as office conflicts.

Most importantly, avoid engaging in office gossip or showing favoritism. Yes, we know it’s not possible to like everyone equally, but it’s definitely possible not to show it. According to HBW, a good way to go about this is to make a conscious effort to divvy up assignments fairly and then keep track of who’s doing what.

Keep Pay Fair and Consistent

Inconsistent pay and bonuses are among the biggest causes of office drama, as they can create resentment and unhealthy competition among employees. To prevent this issue, have a good, transparent pay structure in place that your team understands.

You should also regularly review salaries and benefits to ensure they align with industry standards and reflect the contributions of your team members. There are various software options that can help with this, so there’s no need to do much manually. For instance, you can use the Georgia payroll calculator to accurately determine fair compensation and stay compliant with state regulations. Based in another state? No problem; OnPay has free payroll calculators for all states that you can use for free. Whether you choose to use software or do this manually, the goal is the same: pay your employees fairly and keep bonuses consistent.

Address Issues as Soon as They Arise

When issues arise, it’s best to deal with them as quickly as possible. After all, letting problems fester often leads to bigger and uglier conflicts. So, approach the situation as soon as you’re aware of it and have a solution-focused mindset in place so you can resolve the issue instead of assigning blame.

In fact, it might be a good idea to encourage a no-blame culture as some research shows that negative events and emotions (such as getting blamed at work) affect people’s moods five times more than positive events. It might be more beneficial to adopt the attitude “we’re all still learning” and focus on what you can change.

Remember, reducing workplace drama is all about communication and keeping things as fair as possible. While you’ll never be able to eliminate conflicts, with these strategies, you can certainly reduce and manage them.

Get More Help Managing Drama Makers

 If you’re eager to get more strategies for reducing workplace drama in your small business, you’ll appreciate the tools in my online course Manage & Avoid Drama Llamas…which is therapist recommended.

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