How do I stop cliques from affecting my productivity?

Friday January 25 2019

Alice Nankya L. Nsibuka

Alice Nankya L. Nsibuka  

By Alice Nankya L. Nsibuka

There are very many cliques at my workplace. People form cliques to fight each other and it is affecting my productivity because my supervisor is good at forming cliques. She is always gossiping about us with her friends on the desk. How do I ensure this does not affect me? Priscilla.

Dear Priscilla,
While it is human nature to associate with peers who possess similar traits and personalities, cliques can be counterproductive in the workplace.
They form to provide short-lived social comfort to their members but lack diversity since they might deprive you of what other co-workers have to offer.
The best workers and leaders are ultimately those who can work and empathise with many different types of people as opposed to cliques. Cliques usually form in corporate environments with weak management and are like office gangs that emerge to fill the void of leadership. The situation is even made worse if the supervisor is part of the clique. However, it helps to maintain a positive attitude, focus on your work, and also seek a constructive and honest discussion with your supervisor.
Surviving in such an environment might require you to treat individual clique members in a courteous manner and maintain a professional attitude when you interact with them, even if they do not treat you the same way.
If cliques target you or mock you, do your best not to react.
Try to keep a healthy peer group outside the office so that you do not rely solely on co-workers for your social activity.
Should a clique make your work life difficult, seek outside guidance from a mentor or career coach.