How to Avoid Office Politics Without Getting your Hands Dirty?


HR on Cloud, Performance Management

Office politics is an evil that impacts employee’s performance. It can occur for any reason, be it money, power, status or just for greed. Politics at workplace takes an emotional toll on everyone involved in it.

Arguments, favouritism and difference in opinions become a common sight at workplaces where political games exist. Political games, often turn cubicles and conference rooms into war zones.

Whether it is backstabbing, power misuse, gossiping, diplomacy, manipulating, sugar coating, finger pointing, giving inaccurate information, idea stealing or showing passive-aggressive behaviour, people influence others and spread negativity to gain advantage in multiple ways.

A study by Fox Business shows that nearly 60% of employees believe political skill is necessary to get ahead of others. This does not mean getting involved in the workplace politics, but understanding what’s working against you and dealing with it in a sensible way. One must be cautious about the political games and should have basic political intelligence.

Office Politics Can Be Ignored!

A person can win political battles by avoiding them completely. Staying positive and friendly with everyone around and focusing less on negative people can go a long way.

A survey conducted on workplace politics by Wall Street Journal shows some surprising facts. Out of total surveyed employees, 29% of them prefer staying away from political games completely whereas 54% of employees believe that it’s better to know what’s going on rather than getting involved directly in the politicking.

Another 16% of workers feel interested and intrigued to be a part of politicking as they see it as an opportunity to get ahead of others.

Office politics is a cause for stress and poor performance of employees. It has a negative influence as it lowers employee morale, affects team work, reduces workforce productivity, negatively impact workplace relationships, and takes away peace of mind.

Here are few simple strategies to defend oneself and survive office politics without causing damage to one’s self-esteem.

Stay Positive Today and Forever

It can be challenging to stay sane in a workplace where political games have become a trend. Demonstrate positive behavior to set a good example for other team members and peers. Build trust within and outside the team, and make efforts for collaboration and teamwork.

Involve team members in transparent, consistent and clear interactions to provide feedback on unacceptable behavior. This can help line managers in being more emotionally aware and strengthen work relationships.

Say NO to Workplace Bullying

Whether it’s a corporate work environment or not, politicking encourages workplace bullying and leaves a negative impact on the person.

Do not support bullying under any circumstance, even if you don’t have the power to bring a change.

Put an End to Gossip

Workplace gossip gives birth to diplomacy, spreading of incorrect information, and influences thoughts of peers and colleagues. This results into malicious rumors, without an evidence of truth.

If you wish to stay away from the political games, do not get involved in workplace gossips and immediately put an end to it. In fact, take a step ahead to know the truth and be an example for others by not gossiping.

Focus Completely on Work Goals

Taking sides in an argument is not a smart way of dealing with office politics. Either get involved to know the source of the argument and look for a solution, or completely stay away and focus on your work goals.

Every individual is responsible to contribute towards the company’s success. Office politics takes you nowhere, whereas the goal achievements help you and your organization succeed.

Document Everything That is Important

HR and managers are suggested to document all the happenings, employee behavior and the causes.

This can be helpful in taking unbiased decision when the conflict arises that require intervention.

Identify the Negative Influencers

In a workplace where political games prevail, job designations do not necessarily reflect power and influence.

Identify the stakeholders who really encourage negative behavior and promote workplace politics. This may help in addressing the problem and eliminating negative influences from the workplace.

Use the above tips to avoid office politics and negative behavior. Improve workplace relationships and increase workforce productivity by staying calm and positive at all the times.

TAGS: Employee Engagement, Employee Feedback, HR, Motivation, office politics, SMART Goals, Workforce Productivity

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