Drama in the workplace brings many troubling problems with it. Conflicts and controversies deriving from personal issues and related conflicts take workers away from their primary tasks. In other words, employees and managers distract themselves from their essential duties. Productivity might significantly decrease when office drama runs unaddressed. Therefore, it becomes necessary for office managers to take steps to keep office drama under control. Here are some ideas to consider when hoping to manage office drama effectively.

Focus on Productivity

Managers who place high productivity on the office priorities ladder might find office gossip and conflicts decline. Workers required to perform clearly defined tasks within a particular timeframe may lack interest in focusing on non-work-related tasks. Idle time in the office might lead workers to forget they are in a professional environment and embrace office drama as a way to pass the day. Reducing idle time might curtail the troubles idleness brings.

That doesn’t mean managers make the workplace stressful and tedious by adding a taxing and unnecessary workload. Sometimes, hitting minor productivity targets may be enough to maximize workplace performance. Putting incentives in place —such as time-off awards— might lead employees to stick with their official tasks and avoid directing attention toward office drama.

Establish Workplace Rules and Sensitivity Training

Effectively training workers and fellow managers in proper office conduct could go a long way toward making the office drama-free. Establishing rules for office behavior and zero tolerance for hostile work environment-driving actions might offer preventive steps to avoid drama from arising in the first place. Sensitivity training could help workers understand the adverse effects of workplace drama and unprofessional behavior.

Set a Positive Example

At the very least, leading by example will display management’s aversion to unprofessional behavior. Managers shouldn’t engage in any office drama – they shouldn’t start or facilitate anything that undermines personal and professional relationships. Managers who embrace professionalism will likely be more effective in their jobs since they may gain greater respect from employees and colleagues.

Put a Stop to Drama

Managers may not appreciate playing the role of rules enforcers, but company rules exist for good reasons. When a manager discovers an employee’s behavior causes drama or otherwise causes problems with co-workers, the manager would need to intervene and attempt to correct the employee’s behavior. Sometimes, employees prove too toxic to retain, so they face termination. Managers may find themselves making tough decisions about whether to retain someone who creates conflict and hurts morale.

Establish a Communications System

Office gossip and stories may spread when employees cannot effectively express their frustrations or concerns. Creating a suggestion box where employees could leave anonymous questions or comments might work wonders. An email version of the classic suggestion box could also work. Managers could make general, professional email replies that discuss issues and work towards a solution.

Stopping office drama could take some effort, and eliminating office gossip and conflicts entirely would be nearly impossible. However, some progress might result from the right effort, and the workplace may become a much more positive environment.