Cliques in the Workplace
by, 4th November 2011 at 09:18 PM (1507 Views)
Workplace cliques--it's hard to survive with or without them in the office.
For new hires or low to mid-level team members, being in a clique can lead to various positive feelings. Being part of a group at work can help a person feel comfortable and accepted in the workplace, not to mention having friends at work can help make a person enjoy coming into the office. On the downside, if you are not in a workplace clique, you may feel unsupported or isolated. You might even grow disdainful of your work environment and co-workers.
Whether you are currently in a workplace clique, trying to make your way into one, or avoiding cliques at all costs, it is important to be careful of the impression cliques give to others, particularly to upper management. It is best not only for your career, but also as a considerate co-worker and person in your office, to tie yourself to a welcoming group of individuals, not people who are toxic or highly "exclusive."
Many experts advise workers to be on the lookout for groups that take exclusivity to harmful extremes. Bullying, discrimination or the withholding of information that people need to do their jobs are all red flags. One clear sign of a harmful clique is one that poisons relationships or allows one member to have undue influence over others. See this example:
Imagine Jane, Roxanne, and Barb all have a strong bond, but overtime, Barb develops a problem with Will, another co-worker. Jane and Roxanne should not feel pressure to have ill feelings towards Will out of loyalty to Barb.A general rule of thumb is to make sure office cliques are supportive, welcoming and constructive to the work environment. Groups of this nature are seen positively by upper management and co-workers. Remember that forming tight-knit groups is a natural part of social interaction and can be healthy and positive forces of productivity—so watch out for groups that drag you and your office down!
Have you ever found yourself in a toxic clique at work? What did you do to get out?