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Stop Employees from Protecting Their Turf

Employees who won't share work or information with coworkers can drag down your entire staff. Help territorial employees loosen their "turf" grip with these steps:

  • Describe how their behavior affects the organization's goals. Example: "To help process orders within 24 hours - which is our top service priority this year - we periodically will need to see your order summary reports, Eugene. When you don't share them, we can't monitor our progress."
  • Explain the importance of shared responsibility. Today's organizations can't afford not to share information and institutional knowledge. Discuss with territorial employees the need to share information about their work so that someone else could complete simple tasks in their absence.
  • Show how sharing information leads to job security. Territorial employees sometimes control critical functions within the organization to make themselves irreplaceable. Let them know that their thinking is dangerously outdated. Show them the traits you really value are versatility, adaptability and the ability to function in diverse environments.

 

Source: Manager's Edge, as adapted from Resolving Territorial Conflict: Who Took My Parking Space?