Question: I need some advice on how to handle a group of "mean girls" in the office. The have all been on a counseling step for different reasons at different times. They seem to give a uncomfortable sense around the office without actually doing anything (or anything that we can actually prove). They don't have common courtesy to offer a good morning or good night to others when spoken to. It may be possible retaliation from the counseling. Staff (including me) have walked in to conversations in which you know they were up to no good, but couldn't prove it, or didn't hear enough to report to me. They are really able to fly under the wire. They seem to have a very negative alliance with each other which is disruptive. Any advice?
Answer: I find the following helpful – From the start, make it very clear to your "trouble makers" that if they were going to gossip, etc. about fellow employees, providers, etc. that they had better be prepared to sit down face to face with the person they were gossiping about. I have one client practice that only had to do this once and believe me it worked and the rest of the office trouble makers turned around their behavior overnight.