Manager’s Corner/Employee Cliques?

by Liz Weber

One of the quickest ways to alienate new employees, restrict their skill development, and keep an organization stuck in a “rut,” is to tolerate employee cliques and let them control production.
What are they? Employee cliques are destructive employee groupings that don’t welcome new employees. They view new employees as threats. They also view new employees as wastes of their time, particularly if they have to train this new person - who in their minds - will probably quit in a few months anyway. “So why bother?”
Take a step back and ask yourself, “If I were a new employee, would I want to continue to work for an organization where the current employees don’t want me around and won’t train me?” I doubt it. I know I wouldn’t. I’d find someplace where I felt wanted and appreciated. And by my doing this, the veteran employees will say “See, we told you she’d leave.”
So, as a manager, what can you do? First, recognize this behavior in your organization if it exists. Second, pull your veteran employees together to discuss why they feel the way they do towards new hires. Third, develop a program with a select group of veteran employees and your management team to develop a new hire orientation program to quickly train and bring new employees into your organization without unduly burdening current staff. Finally, continue to work with veteran and “rookie” staff members to identify ways to better integrate the “old” knowledge and skills with the “new.”
If you don’t take action to correct the power of the cliques, they’ll control your employee population, its skill level, your employee turnover rates, and ultimately production.
Liz Weber is President of Weber Business Services, LLC. Business Consulting, Training & Speaking-Specializing in Strategic & Business Planning and Leadership Development.