Text posted Tuesday, July 3, 2012
Conflicts, dislikes, and gripes between and among employees are very common and can be some of the most difficult issues for managers. We see this in our research all the time. Cliques, in particular, are a common problem in the workplace. They always have been. Gen Yers, brand new to a workplace, are often lured into cliques or distracting personal relationships by one social ringleader or another.
As one Gen Yer put it: “My boss was sort of nonpresent most of the time at work. I got most of my cues from the other people I was working with. One of the ladies at work, I connected with her right away. She told me who was cool and who to stay away from. I would definitely say we became friends.” When this happens, the Gen Yer’s focus is drawn away from the work and onto personal and social machinations. How can managers deal with this problem?
When Gen Yers say that their most important relationship at work is with their immediate manager, they have many fewer personal conflicts with other employees at work. We have also found that the busier Gen Yers are with their tasks and responsibilities at work, the more they tend to build their workplace relationships with colleagues around shared or dovetailing tasks and responsibilities (as opposed to personal matters). As a result, their workplace relationships tend to be more professional.