Find out your in– and out– groups
LMX research concluded all employees are unintentionally divided into 2 groups. The first group is the so-called in-group, and the second is an out-group. Managers should not classify employees, but it happens naturally during the communication and working process.
As for those groups: in–groups have more possibilities to express themselves at work, they are more self–sufficient, and they are usually more joyful and efficient than their colleagues from out–groups. They are more sociable, easy–going, and cooperative with other employees than those from the out–group. In–group employees are happier with what they do.
Out–group employees differ from in–groups. They are not as sociable and need to report their every decision, and they tend to be less effective in what they do. They are not as enthusiastic about their work and strive to leave it as soon as the working hours are over. Out–group does only what was requested and provides no initiatives. When a new project arises, they just accept the requirements, without offering other ways to do something. They are not motivated to do their job better and get less satisfaction from what they do.
So, what should you do, as a manager? First, you need to understand which person refers to which group. How do you feel the person shows oneself? Are there any differences between job satisfaction among employees?
As soon as you have sorted everything out, think why particular people have gotten into these groups. Maybe you share similar ideas, principles or interests, or you just feel comfortable with them as with professionals; maybe you have similar styles of communication.
These groups are created naturally, unintentionally, because people characterize others, even subconsciously. You should not feel guilty for ‘classifying’ people. It is normal in terms of your company’s well–being. Try to think how you can help both groups and boost the communication or atmosphere.
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