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Out With the "In"

If you want happy, harmonious employees, it's time to kick those workplace cliques to the curb.

This story appears in the April 2004 issue of Entrepreneur. Subscribe »

Without a doubt, you value your longtime employees. You know them, and they know you. When it comes down to it, your longtime employees are like family.

But families can be dysfunctional. New employees coming in can find there's an impenetrable "in" crowd: a close-knit group of longtime employees who have a clique, as well as the ear of management. "You can see which team members are together, who turns to whom, and who is left out," says Arlene Vernon, owner of HR and management consulting firm HRx Inc. in Eden Prairie, Minnesota.

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