Updated April 27, 2023
Groupism in Organisations
In almost every company, whether big and famous or small and sophisticated, a culture of office politics finds a way to creep inside the walls of a foundation built with years of hard work. It is something that is inevitable and exists in every organization. Groups are created between employees according to their comfort level and how well they get along. It is somewhat like the groups in school, with dorks and nerds on one side and the cool ones on another. For competitive purposes, this might be helpful for an organization to some extent. Still, it soon gets ugly, too, with the addition of new employees who are de-motivated by these groups.
Going by what some top management experts have to say about how they managed their company, the truth is that groups in companies need to be denounced, and the sooner your workers get rid of this, the better it is for your company’s growth.
Here are some of the ways how you can attempt to get rid of groupism among the employees of your office:
8 Important Ways to Get Rid of Groupism Between Employees
1. Encourage diversity
It is beneficial for employers to hire individuals who come from different backgrounds, has a different cultures, and hold different beliefs. It is not necessary to go by typical stereotypes and hire only those who come from a reputed college or belong to a particular community only because you, as a leader, belong to that community. It can backfire and lead to groups in your company since like-mindedness would be a factor in having a group with the majority belonging to a particular community.
Also, there is no point in hiring people with similar ideas and beliefs since there would be no active competition if that happened. Therefore, when you form a team or a department, make sure that people from different walks of society work together and collaborate to boost their team’s performance. This way, there would be no particular excellent group or a biased view held by a specific set of people or groups. Also, this would significantly improve the performance of your employees since competition is always a score booster.
2. When making teams, consider the age group of employees
Rather than going to their race, skin color, or friendship, it is better to divide the teams in your office depending on the age group of your employees. Put the younger and the same age group in one team and put the older and more experienced ones in another group. This will not seem prejudiced and is pretty logical too. The formation of groups based on age or experience is unlikely, thus eliminating the possibility of groupism. When new employees join in, divide them likewise into teams.
This has two benefits to offer. Firstly, there obviously would not be any groups between your employees and the constant feeling of competitiveness will be maintained. Secondly, having people of the same age group on one team will give some ideas, preventing any small rifts from happening inside the team. While the older ones will have the advantage of experience, the younger team will have a much more enthusiastic and innovative approach. Thus, the next time you divide teams, divide them based on age groups rather than religion or race.
3. Do not allow regional languages to be spoken
One of the persistent reasons behind the formation of groupism in the office has been the division among the employees based on their mother tongues or the regional languages they speak. For instance, when three or four members in an office happen to be of Spanish origin, they take the liberty to talk among themselves in Spanish, which is very unsocial to do among many people in the office. They eventually form a group, and this starts the flame of groupism.
To ensure that such incidents do not occur in your workplace, seize every opportunity to communicate clearly to your employees that a single universal language should be spoken in the office, whether English or any other language that all employees understand. This keeps things from getting ugly, even if most people from a particular community won’t go ahead and talk in their mother tongue in the office. Such minor details sometimes sow the seeds of office politics, and it is better to stop it in the very beginning than to watch it dismantle your groupism in the workplace.
4. Choose team leaders or supervisors
When a group of people works together, it is obvious that there will be indecisiveness between them over one matter or another since no two people think exactly alike. Having leaders assigned to teams is a better way to prevent minor issues from developing into big fights because they can resolve the matter within the team.
Having managers or supervisors in teams makes the team work responsibly with someone above them to guide and assist them when needed. A supervisor can also work to keep the team united and encourage them to work better than the other team. It keeps the employees motivated, giving their best in their tasks or responsibilities. Furthermore, a leader knows the shortcomings and the high point of the employees he has in his team. Thus, when it comes to working as a group, he can divide the work so that everybody does what they are good at, ensuring the efficient working of the team.
5. As a boss, never encourage backbiting
In every office, one of those employees tries to stay in constant connection with the boss by bringing him gossip. They are not as competitive as the others, and becoming the favorite seems easier than working hard. It is essential to discourage such behavior if any employee tries to practice it. As a senior, it is your responsibility to keep the workers united, and not one of your pawns should be out of place.
First, do not let the workers try to get on your list of favorites, and practice treating each employee equally. It is inevitable to avoid praising the ones who do good work, but other than that, do not let the workers think that one of them is a favorite while the others are not. This leads to the employees plotting against that one employee who appears to be on your list and groupism in your organization buds. Stay as neutral as you can and encourage all employees occasionally. If possible, praise an entire team for their combined efforts rather than praising an individual effort.
6. Give equal opportunities to everyone
When four individuals work together in a team, and one gets praised and promoted for the combined effort of the entire team, it becomes unacceptable for the other three members since they did equal handwork for that particular project and deserve a fair share of opportunity too. Still, maybe because they are not as friendly or easy to like as the one who got selected, they lose a chance and have the right to feel unappreciated. Such conduct from the senior bosses is like a spark that fuels the fire of office politics.
To avoid such scenarios from happening, give each member a fair opportunity to compete for the promotion by assigning them separate tasks, and rather than handing over the promotion to one, who seemed the unanimous choice, go for the one whose performance impressed all the bosses equally. This will, at least, let those who are not promoted know why they were not chosen. Such small things can also fuel groups; in fact, anything done unmindfully on the boss’s front can be so the thing that can be a risk for the organization. Therefore, each step you take shall be unbiased, not partial, and acceptable to your seniors and employees.
7. Organised outings or dinners for the entire office
If there comes the point where you realize that the seeds of groupism have already started to bud in your company, you should take some instant steps to avoid it. If you have never taken your workers out for dinner or organized a get-together for the entire office, it may be a good idea to do so now.
Such get-togethers allow everyone to meet outside the workplace where there is no competition to mind, and they can all take freely to each other. Talk to all your employees when they sit around the table with you, and try to tell them how you loathe groupism in the workplace and expect them to work together as one united organization. If there are issues, try to make them talk it out to you and resolve them at your level. It will further ease the tension that might arise among the employees due to constant politics in the office.
8. Keep all official conversations on paper
It is essential to have disciplined and organized working in companies to keep any controversies from rising out of nothing. Usually, in workplaces, one not-so-ethical employee would make up something out of his brain and pass it on to another person until it takes the form of a well-spread rumor. Such cases usually happen during appraisal or promotions, and the office has to bear the wrath of politics and groupism.
To avoid such scenarios from occurring at your workplace, it is better to keep everything regarding work and business on paper so that all your employees know how things happen at their workplace and do not fall prey to such rumors spread out of sheer insecurity from an employee not competitive enough to deal with situations. Even if the story gets some acknowledgment, it is better to bring the one responsible to face questioning and the news source. Having everything on paper will help you prove your ground and explain the truth behind such nonsense to your employees.
Groupism and office politics can be a very common culture, and it becomes a biological need of the individuals working together. They tend to get together and talk about someone in the office they don’t appreciate, and sometimes it is even the boss against whom the entire group of employees holds a grudge. It is not a very big deal as long as it does not start affecting the performance of your employees. However, it is not something that should be promoted either. Gossip and random chatty attitude are acceptable, but when it comes to the point where an employee feels threatened by it, you need to take action.
The best way to get your groupism in the workplace rid of issues is to maintain a disciplined work environment and work as a team. You could also keep the entire group of workers working together as one big family by organizing random get-togethers and parties on special days that are not holidays. An office free from politics and gossip is a workplace that ensures 100%, efficient employees. The chances of meeting goals are much higher than in companies that have to witness a battle between their employees and employers.
Here are some articles that will help you to get more detail about Groupism in Organisations, so go through the link.