Most of us spend 7-8 hours a day at work, making the workplace our second home. Therefore, even a small failure can lead to annoying problems, especially if not dealt with promptly. Most of these problems are related to the behavior of colleagues and top management. Finding the solution to groupism in workplace can be a bit tricky, as many of these involve subtle aspects of behavior that are difficult to articulate.
In almost all companies and organizations whether large, well-known, small, or sophisticated, a culture of office politics and groupism in workplace seeps into the walls of the foundation that many years of hard work have built. If you analyze it closely, it is inevitable and exists in every organization. Groupism in workplace among employees depends on how comfortable they feel with each other and how well they get along with each other. It’s like a school group, with the idiots and nerds on one side and the cool group on the other. For competitive reasons, this may be of some use to the organization. But things quickly turn sour when new employees come in and become de-motivated by these groups.
Office politics or groupism in workplace can be a major stumbling block for employees who want a harmonious and productive work environment. Groupism is the formation of factions and favoritism within an organization that leads to the alienation of certain employees and hurts employee morale and the overall workplace atmosphere. This article focuses on the dangers of groups and examines how they can undermine the potential of high-performing employees, reduce job satisfaction, and hinder the overall success of an organization.
Different Aspects of Workplace Politics and Groupism in workplace
- Unexplained Turnover – The most obvious sign of toxicity is unexplained turnover. Frequent ins and outs are the most visible example of that. If you don’t allow the departing employee to speak fearlessly in an in-person exit interview, the departing employee may be reluctant to share important, not-so-positive information. There are many reasons for this, but the two most common are that you don’t want to “shadow” your new job or invite unhealthy dynamics.
- Gossip among Employees– Gossip is often associated with a toxic workplace. Nothing kills morale and productivity like gossip, so leaders need to recognize it early and fix it. There are many possible causes of the problem. For example, a bad attitude, or a frail manager. Then, where vision, goals, and strategies are not clear. How you resolve the issue depends on the root cause.
- Clique Formation – Grouping is a sign that the workplace is becoming toxic. Grouping is when employees form cliques and begin to exclude other employees. This can lead to low morale and reduced productivity. If you notice groupism in workplace, try to counter it by speaking to your employees individually and encouraging them to be more inclusive. You can organize team-building exercises to encourage employee interaction.
- Competition or Mistrust – A workplace can become toxic if there is a sense of competition or mistrust between employees. This can lead to a hostile environment where people are constantly trying to outdo each other instead of working together. If you see this, please act immediately. This may include having open and honest conversations with employees, setting expectations, and providing teamwork training.
- Stressful Work Environment – When the stress in the environment is greater than the normal or goal of working together as a team, it can result in a toxic workplace. If you notice your employees becoming more nervous, making aggressive comments, and feeling demoralized, you may have an issue that needs immediate attention. If possible, he should schedule a 10-minute meeting with each team member to get to the bottom of the issue.
- Favoritism – A sign of a toxic work environment is when top management or seniors give preference to certain employees. This can cause feelings of jealousy and resentment among employees. If the boss notices these signs, they should address them immediately to ensure that all employees are treated fairly and equally.
- Divisions among Departments – Differences and competition are signs of a toxic workplace which is when people get divided into hostile factions. These factions can be defined by department (e.g., marketing vs. IT), personality, or power struggle. Tensions arise when people who are supposed to work together view each other as enemies. Leaders need to recognize this and work towards a collaborative atmosphere.
- Point fingers at each other – When there is a problem, or when something is not working when no one will admit they were wrong, when people are afraid to tell the truth when people start pointing fingers – these are all signs that something fishy is going on.
- Lack of Transparency – Low transparency is a key early sign of workplace toxicity. Beware of bosses and managers who withhold information, provide misleading information, or use back channels to pass information to favored employees. In a less transparent environment, employees are more likely to be blinded by negative information, which can damage morale and increase turnover.
Workplace groups are usually never intentional. They occur naturally and are more or less associated with the human mindset. However, groups within organizations are never beneficial and have the undesirable side effect of promoting poor working conditions. Office politics, including groups, can have a significant impact on the work environment and employee well-being. Informal groups can provide a sense of camaraderie, but excessive groupism undermines employee potential, undermines job satisfaction, and creates a negative company culture.
Next, there are some cruel truths about office politics, groupism at workplace, toxic workplaces, and workplace bullying that nobody wants to reveal. Even affected employees don’t reveal that there are no such tangible solutions to those things. Some of the things that need to be pondered about –
- 50% of workplace groupism is instigated by top management with clear support from the boss or employer or the boss himself.
- In companies and workplaces, few employees or groups of employees continue to enjoy some monetary or other types of benefits and privileges. When that is hindered for others, they are bound to start attacking others intentionally or start conspiring to get rid of them.
- Next, opinions are manufactured about some employees. Top management or senior colleagues try to spread reverse opinions or create offensive remarks about their performance or behavior.
Effect of Workplace Groupism
- Undermining Employee Potential – Groupism can have a negative impact on employee potential and performance. When cliques form, communication and collaboration can be limited to within the group, eliminating valuable contributions and insights from other employees. This can inhibit creativity, innovation, and idea sharing, and ultimately inhibit employees’ personal growth and collective potential.
- Erosion of Job Satisfaction – Employees who feel like they’re on one side of a clique or experiencing favoritism are likely to be less satisfied with their jobs. Feeling excluded or undervalued can lead to decreased motivation, decreased engagement, and feelings of isolation. This can reduce employee commitment to their work and impact productivity and morale across the organization.
- Negative Organizational Culture – Excessive groupism fosters a toxic organizational culture. Trust and fairness in the workplace decrease when employees experience clique formation and widespread favoritism. This creates an atmosphere of competition, gossip, and politics that can take focus away from the organization’s goals and values. Such a culture discourages teamwork, collaboration, and creating a healthy work environment.
To mitigate the perils of groupism, organizations should foster a culture of inclusivity, promote open communication, and encourage collaboration across teams. By recognizing and addressing the issues stemming from groupism, organizations can unlock the full potential of their employees and foster a harmonious and productive work environment.