We all have to deal with it at some point: the dreaded workplace drama queen!
You know the type of person. He (or she) is the individual who makes sure that everyone within earshot knows they just got a raise or that Billy Bob just smacked the new truck into a customer’s Volvo or they come to the company party and sit sulking in the corner. Can you say buzzkill?
Why, oh why, do they do it?
Are they just seeking attention? Do they have some sort of complex? Do they have a perpetual hangnail or hemorrhoids? Well, guess what; it doesn’t matter!
Stop trying to figure them out. If you had wanted to be a psychiatrist, I’m sure you would have gone to school for that. Here is a newsflash folks: You will never figure them out—never, ever. Please, for the love of God, just let it go and face the facts.
Here are the facts about people who cause workplace drama:
- They are a workplace cancer.
- They can be either male or female.
- They will make all of your good people want to quit.
- They will suck the energy from your soul.
- They are really good at acting like a “normal” person when they are around the boss; that’s you.
- They like to stir the pot.
- They will hurt the culture of your company.
There are many more things that drama queens are, but what they are not is what is really important. They are not good ambassadors for your company. They cannot be trusted. They are not positive people. They are not looking out for what is best for the company.
Over the years, I have had the misfortune of having a few of these individuals work for me. Yes, I had my very own drama queens working right at my company, the company that my father and I worked so hard to build and grow into a market leader. And for some reason these people felt the need to wreak havoc on the very thing that we built and, in the process, put money in their pockets every two weeks.
So if you have one of these individuals lurking (oops, I mean working) in your company, then you have a few choices:
- First, you can try to have a conversation with them, but remember it is not your job to be their therapist.
- If someone is creating workplace drama at your company, you have every right to know what the issue is. I have taken this approach several times over the years and for the most part it does not work, or if it does it is for a short time.
- If you need to buy some time and you think it might help, then by all means give this a shot. Sometimes if they know that you are on to them, they will calm down. But don’t expect miracles with this approach.
- Another option is to let them go. I am not a fan of firing people. I do not like doing it, but sometimes it is the best option for both parties. Chances are that if someone is creating drama then they are unhappy, so why prolong the agony? If they are not happy and you are also unhappy, then it’s time to part ways.
It’s never a good situation when someone is creating unnecessary workplace drama. Once you recognize this, you must do something about it before it gets out of control and really hurts your business.