Are you aware of those two or three people at your place of work who seem to have a language of their very own? They always seem to be talking about something, most cases in hushed voices and they are never eager to let others in on their conversations.
They are a clique. Reminds me of the situation we had in high school. Back then, peer pressure reigned and you had to be one of ‘them’ in thought, deeds and behaviour.
Webster’s Dictionary defines a “clique” as a ‘narrowly exclusive group of people usually held together by a common, “often selfish” interest or purpose’
Are cliques appropriate for the work place? What are the pros and con’s of cliques in the work place? Can a social group of this nature as described by Webster be a positive influence in the work place?
Personally I think the work place is not an appropriate setting for cliques. Individual social clubs within a work place can produce negative connotations. Cliques do very little to inspire the spirit of camaraderie.
All employees must advocate team playing by supporting team building not separatism. What qualifies a person to become a clique member?
I think the word “clique” is used to describe this type of group because these groups are not formally organized. These people meet and converse, if they get along well and have something in common, they “click” thus, the “clique is borne.
They believe in the same things, have the same values, and enjoy one another’s company. These individuals usually trust one another and confide many personal things concerning their home life as well as work related matters.
If an outsider desires to become a part of the “clique,” the entire group usually takes their cue from the unspoken leader of the group. Leaders are not appointed.
In my school, cliques were lead by the most notorious fellow in the group. At work usually the most aggressive person, with strong leadership qualities, is the one who everyone listens to and counts on for answers and decision-making.
Either you fit in a “clique” or you do not. Being a part of a “clique” can lead to favouritism. This type of “clique” can also lead to a decline in morale among other employees who are not in the loop. Most of the time “cliques” infer exclusivity.
There is an unspoken code among “clique” members who view outsiders as intruders. Often “clique” members are rude, thoughtless, self-cantered and arrogant; especially when relating to people who are not a part of their group.
It is unwise to try and force your way into a “clique” because it can lead to hurt feelings and disappointments. There are no rules that say “cliques” have to accept you.
In all walks of life and in almost every age group, there are people pressured to fit in, to be liked and accepted by their associates, whether it’s in the workplace or elesewhere.
Sometimes there are problems within the “clique” that can be counter-productive in the work place. Jealousy can rear its ugly head and cause chaos in the work place.
Another very vital reason for the discouragement of “cliques” in the work place is the fact that these small groups of people can become too relaxed and too familiar with one another and release personal information from their various departments that perhaps should not be released.
Cliques can form very unhealthy alliances that can be very hurtful both inside and outside of the group.
Cliques can cause dissention, divisions and hurt feelings, which can have a negative effect on the work place at large.
Cliques formed in the work place are much different from those formed in other sectors because the fallout can be greater and costlier.
Clique members often share the same values whether they are moral or immoral causing the stakes to be too high to consider encouraging “cliques” in the work place.
Clique members usually expect a certain degree of loyalty among themselves. This can produce treacherous waters because of conflicts of interest where joint company decisions are concerned.
Cliques expect a certain degree of loyalty from its members. Sometimes “cliques” can promote joint efforts to surface that can be harmful to the company, for instance…walkouts, strikes, lawsuits and other disgruntled acts that may surface because of dissatisfaction.
Often a clique member’s company loyalty is questionable. In a clique, you are expected to accept and support “clique” decisions whether you agree with them or not.
Cliques can be defined in the same manner as friends. These two words are interchangeable. Both can have positive as well as negative connotations.
There are already many obstacles to overcome when entering the workplace because the first bridge to cross is usually trying to be an asset to the job, then the overwhelming need to be accepted, to fit in.
The added drama of a “clique” is just not worth the effort. You must not allow other people to control your emotions. Stay as impartial as possible on the job. Form friendships outside of the work place.
Do the job you were hired to do to the best of your ability. When push comes to shove, there are no friends in business.
Keep life simple. Treat employers and employees as co-workers and do not allow personal life to enter your work place. You will be glad you did!