May 2003

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Too close for comfort

All managers want to see employees interact and gain a sense of camaraderie. However, if employees become too close, it can result in decreased productivity, which is bad for business. If you've noticed poor performers are well-liked by other employees, top performers are discouraged from outperforming others, leaders and others are treated as outsiders, and employees perform poorly when you're not around, you may have a set of employees that has become too cliquish.

To help poorly performing employees place more emphasis on production, try introducing some competition. Offer individual performance rewards, or separate employees into groups and have them compete against each other. If you must discipline an employee, keep the conversation private. Public discipline will make an employee a martyr among his peers and create more cohesiveness against you. You also should consider removing troublemakers from a department and placing them with a different group.

Source: Adapted from Getting Things Done Without Getting Done In, as cited in Team Management Briefings,...

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