Cliques are a thing from the past, and definitely don’t continue past high school, right? WRONG. Not only do these organized (and sometimes stereotypical) groups make their way through high schools and universities, many working Americans report cliques in their place of work. Actually, according to a survey by CareerBuilder.com, a whopping 43 percent of Americans claim there are cliques in their workplace.
An especially common place of work for cliques is… Wanna take a guess? You named it. HOSPITALS! On the basis that all hospital employees are separated by specialty, it’s not surprising that groups are formed. These cliques are not always a bad thing, and may show that employees are getting along, but in the end, company cliques tend to build a negative name for themselves.
Closeness among employees in such a fast-paced and stressful environment is ideal, but there is a fine line between having a good group of friends and belonging to a clique. Follow these three simple rules to make sure your group of friends isn’t becoming that clique.
Include Everyone who Wants to be Included.
Whether your crew is deciding when to take their lunch break, planning the next happy hour outing, or simply discussing the television shows that you all watch, try not to leave anyone out. Invite the new person to lunch, and persuade the quiet, introvert to come out after work. You know the person that never chimes in while your group is discussing last night’s show? Try asking them what they like to watch.
Of course there will still be people that will decline your invitation, and that’s OK. Simply involving others will do wonders in making your group of friends more approachable and seem less “cliquey”.
Our parents have been saying it to us since we were toddlers; “Don’t judge a book by its cover”, and it’s still great advice to live by. If a new doctor joins your floor, and he or she doesn’t seem like they will fit in when it comes to socializing, still make an effort to get to know them.
Aside from ditching the “judge at first sight” concept, stay tolerant to those sensitive topics like political and religious affiliations, because they really don’t need to be discussed at work. If these topics do come up (and they always do), it’s important to remember that no two people have the same perspective of every controversial topic.
Remember Where You Are
When it comes down to it, work is work. You are all here pursuing a career in the medical field, and the main focus should remain on the patients. When all employees in a certain specialty, or on a certain floor, work together for the common interest of their patients, cliques can easily become a thing in the past.
Follow these simple suggestions, and help your place of work become a more fun, relaxed and comfortable atmosphere for all employees.