Office politics are common in any company. Nonetheless, they can ruin productivity, reduce morale and cause much wasted time, effort and even good talent. Competition for advancement, striving for constant attention (and the boss’s ear) and the need to always get “your own way” are not all, but some of the root causes. Let’s be honest. Office politics can get down, right nasty. On top of that, office politics makes it more challenging for HR departments to have HR compliance.
According to collinsdictionary.com, office politics are defined as “the ways that power is shared in an organization or workplace, and the ways that it is affected by the personal relationships between the people who work there.”
A national survey of more than 1,000 office employees conducted by Bridge by Instructure, Inc., a talent management software suite for businesses, reported: “over half believed engaging in workplace politics is an important factor in receiving a promotion.”
While this may be true in some cases, it also means other employees with talent could be disregarded for their efforts and not given the rewards they deserve, putting HR compliance into play should anyone complain. So, what can hiring managers or managers do about this? A lot.
Find the Source of Office Politics To Avoid HR Compliance Issues
Office politics can arise where competition is fierce. As a result, it’s important to determine who the employee (or sometimes employees) is that is causing the politics in the first place.
It’s not hard to spot. As a manager, try to recognize those superiors who play favorites or those employees who thrive on gossip beyond the water cooler chit chat. In fact, www.mindtools.com suggests seeing who gets along with who; which employee(s) find it more difficult to interact with others; determine in-groups, out-groups or cliques; or if interoffice connections are based on respect, friendships or even romances.
In the event the workplace does get heated (as it often can with office politics) it’ll be easier to determine the source and find a temporary solution for the problem. Unfortunately, office politics never really go away.
Strive for Open Communication
Communication in the workplace is essential for productivity, growth, and success. It also reduces the chances of politics, according to The Management Study Guide. They recommend employees should not play with words and always pass on the information in its desired form. Plus communicate via texts, emails, or various work management software to avoid confusion is also a good idea. From a manager’s perspective, request to be cc’d or bcc’d on any communication to avoid any miscommunication or problems down the road.
Promote Transparency and Team Work
A productive workplace is often a happy workplace. As a manager, encourage transparency at all levels so employees are clear of company goals. Policies should also be the same for everyone. The Management Study Guide suggests teamwork should be promoted to not only strengthen bonds amongst employees but develop stronger relationships.
While there are many methods for managers to combat politics, it just takes a few basic management skills. Once the politics are reduced, you can feel good about managing a sound, creative and productive work environment.
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