Working around the world in a plethora of socio-economic environments and across all demographic categories has afforded me the opportunity to learn there are few constants around the world; but one thing that never seems to be lost at a workplace with more than one person is Drama.
Drama is the foundation of social communication in an environment filled with diverse individuals who make up the workplace. From Asia to Europe to the America’s, the commingling of receptionists, accounting clerks, sales people, managers, executives, owners, customers and vendors creates a melting pot of social diversity forced to commingle in confines that ultimately lead to drama.
Drama is the spark that creates interest in humans in the workplace. Most people don’t wake up and think; ‘I can’t wait to get to work and do my work’. There is something much deeper that drives us to return to work, beyond the paycheck and work, it’s the social interaction between people.
Drama does not have to be a negative in the workplace. Understanding the foundation of the drama within each particular environment is the first step to controlling the impact that drama has on the overall environment, and since you cannot eliminate all drama, you should work to understand it.
The first things that help us to understand and manage drama is creating an environment where the company remains the number one priority. To do this, it is critical to establish operational controls from day one. Control in the workplace is established by employing clear and concise policy and procedures and maintaining clear workplace communications with regard to the work and objectives of the company.
Once management has established that it has established a clear understanding of what is expected by each employee and provided all employees with the tools and information needed to be professional and successful, we can begin to focus on the social drama that swirls in the office.
Knowing that drama transcends all levels of the workplace, management should not get involved in any drama between employees that does not interrupt the goals of the company. Understanding that people need social interaction to remain interested in the environments they spend time in, managers only need to focus on the company’s productivity. Additionally, managers need to objectively understand that their own social interactions (drama) will be viewed by subordinates and that it should be held to the same standard as the rest of the company.
Negative drama is one thing that requires immediate attention. This interaction draws the manager into the drama, but offers the opportunity to highlight the importance of policy and procedure and can be a great learning opportunity for all parties involved. If drama is causing the company negative feedback or a reduction of efficiency or even a loss of revenue, the parties must be addressed in a proactive, positive manner consistent with the overall policy, procedure and objectives of the company.
Regardless of your work environment or position within a company, you will be faced with drama in your workplace. Understanding that each person is driven by unique and different motivations and requires different levels of attention, support and guidance, will help anyone to control the affects drama has on their particular environment.