4 in 10 employees say there are cliques in their workplace: Survey

Managers take part in one-half of office cliques
|hrreporter.com|Last Updated: 07/25/2013

Are the social dynamics in a typical workplace all that different from a high school? Four in 10 (43 per cent) workers said their office or workplace is populated by cliques, found a survey by CareerBuilder.

While only one in 10 (11 per cent) workers said they felt intimidated by office cliques, 20 per cent of workers said they’ve done something they’re really not interested in or didn’t want to do just to fit in with co-workers, found the survey of 3,000 workers. Forty-six per cent in this subgroup simply went to happy hours to fit in, but 19 per cent made fun of someone else or pretended not to like them.

Moreover, about one in seven said they hide their political affiliation to fit in (15 per cent), 10 per cent don’t reveal personal hobbies, and nine per cent keep their religious affiliations and beliefs a secret.

Thirteen per cent of workers said the presence of office cliques has had a negative impact on their career progress.

“While it’s human nature to associate with peers who possess similar personality types and characteristics, the presence of cliques can be counterproductive in the workplace,” said Rosemary Haefner, vice-president of human resources at CareerBuilder. “We see more managers using team-building activities or assembling people from different groups to work on projects to help discourage behaviours that can alienate others.”

The survey found that not all managers succeed at staying neutral. Nearly one-half (46 per cent) of those workers whose workplaces have cliques said their boss is a part of clique with some of his or her employees.

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