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How to Reduce High Drama in the Workplace


As an employee, one of the most uncomfortable feelings you can experience within your place of work can be caused from conflict or high drama. Walking into your job knowing that there is tension, tends to give some people that “knotted stomach” feeling. Having drama at work is bad for everyone. Employees don’t feel comfortable doing their job, and because of this there is a lack of productivity in the company. Every company can take precautions to avoid this type of situation.

The realistic truth about drama is that there are some individuals who thrive off of creating it. Whether those people are power hungry, or opinionated about something and want to get others to be on their side, etc., there are some people who are willing to stir up trouble at work no matter what. Although high drama at work is inevitable, we can set three goals: decrease the frequency, reduce the longevity and minimize the severity. Here are some thoughts on how to accomplish these three goals.

Setting Your Company’s Values

If you have yet to define what your company's core organizational values are, now would be a good time. If your employees have a set of standards to live by at work, they will be more likely to keep them in the forefront of their minds as they consider the challenges and frustrations they face. An example of a company’s values could be an acronym like the “Four C’s.” The Four C’s stand for Caring, Compassionate, Creativity and Collaborative. These four words can easily be adapted into an organization’s values. It is critical to provide behavioral examples of your company values so every employee has a clear picture of what they look like on a daily basis. The values and behaviors should be established right away when a new employee starts, that way their behavior can correlate with the values right off the bat.

Provide Regular Feedback

Giving your employees frequent feedback can not only help them to see how they are doing in their role, it can also help us address behaviors that lead to or are involved in drama. When providing the feedback, be straightforward about their performance in the company, and if they are doing something to cause negativity, address that problem so they work on fixing it. Set clear guidelines for your employees to follow, so they know how they are expected to act at their job.

Respect Your Employees

As a leader in your company, you expect to be respected, but why would an employee do this if respect is not reciprocated towards them? Always be respectful to your employees. This will show them that you care and appreciate them, and it will also provide them with an example of how we expect everyone to treat each other.

As you try to stop or minimize high drama from happening within your workplace, it is important to keep the 10 Keys in mind, specifically Keys 2, 4, and 5.

2. Uniting Your Team—Building a culture of care and concern among and between employees.

4. Expecting Excellence—Setting high expectations for employees.

5. Requiring Accountability—Upholding and reinforcing individual responsibility to the organization.

By setting your company’s values, giving frequent performance reviews, respecting your employees, and following the 10 Keys, it will be easier to keep drama out of your company. Reducing the conflicts at your company will create a more positive and peaceful place for everyone.

Danielle McLaren