How to avoid office politics – Did you know you can minimize the office politics in your company just by doing some conflict management, introducing fun activities or recognizing employees’ efforts and achievements?
Whether the company culture is more like a war going on in the jungles, or fosters cold war among its colleagues, office politics rules the corporate world and it is pointless to think of getting rid of it completely as it is something inevitable.
But, it is certainly not indomitable and more so for the managers and CEOs.
When there are departments put against one another as to who gives the most revenue to the company and there is head-on-competition between colleagues for promotion or performance appraisals, office politics is bound to happen.
The result: the work environment becomes chaotic and involves much stress apart from the added work pressure and the innate desire to be the best, especially in the books of higher authorities.
So, what should be your remedy measures to counteract such nasty practices at office and how do you plan to take on your competitors and the market with internal warfare increasing day by day?
In the midst of deadlines and technology failure, office politics and the mood swings of colleagues can be too much to handle, coupled with fears of failure or personal problems.
However, reducing opinion clashes or other subtle forms of politick does not require personality development or yoga classes.
It only needs your leadership qualities and these tips to manoeuvre as the manager, HR or CEO of the company:
Recruit ambitious minds but be careful!
You must be vigilant enough while hiring candidates to check if they possess the right kind of ambitious desires, which are motivated by the company’s success first and then the exponential growth of the individual along with the company. When the candidate aspires for individual development, irrespective of the company’s success, and you recruit people with such ambitions, your company is sure to become similar to the political grounds where politicians ask for public votes and promote their parties by hook or by crook.
Be aware of the politics and the symptoms within but avoid being political yourself
Joining in the petty games at office will ruin the case instead of being helpful to either of the parties: the individual or the group causing the politics or the targeted person/set of people. However, you must be aware of what is driving the troublesome issues at office and think of how you can mend them rather than getting involved in the same.
Foster an environment where genuine mistakes and weaknesses can be admitted
When individuals come together to work as a team but are not able to build trust for each other, they cannot showcase their best abilities or fulfil your expectations with their honesty and integrity, and hence cannot function well. All this grows from their lack of interest in showing their weaknesses. Let’s face it: every team member has his/her own capabilities and concerns, strengths and low points. But, if it is not acceptable in the company to come to terms with one’s own vulnerabilities, people may keep repeating their mistakes or hold grudges that will affect their productivity and obviously, not for the good.
Conflict Management is as necessary as Time Management in the office scenario
When cold wars and aggressive behaviours fill the office environment, it is time to eradicate the conflicts within to reduce the unnecessary tension by arranging for open debates and discussions to bring about more ideas, opinions and answers to have a positive impact on the company’s growth and also lessen personal grudges and aggression. Negativities can thus be tackled through proper conflict resolutions among teams by asking them to talk about different innovative ideas, workable solutions regarding major issues that the company faces or particular problems regarding what the company desires to offer.
Be a Patient Listener
Arrange for meetings where you would have the full scope to listen carefully to the concerns of the staff members and address their issues. You may reflect back on what they said and intimate them about how you feel about their problems so that they feel that they have someone to listen to and cater to their everyday troubles. You can even ask for their suggestions or execute the human resource personnel to understand and work upon these requests.
Recognizing efforts and appreciating achievements of not one but all hard-workers in the company
When you acknowledge the efforts of your employees and appreciate them for whatever little they might have achieved, it not only boosts the confidence and motivation levels of the person concerned, but promotes an environment where other colleagues are also motivated to do good work and enhance their productivity levels, thus resulting in a healthy competition. The similar feeling of support is there by this employee when his/her colleagues succeed and are appreciated for their accomplishments. Office journals can be a good initiative to recognize such achievements and highlight what goals the company has strived to fulfil. It is in your hands to prove to your employees that they are all valuable to the company, maybe in different ways. It will help each and every colleague realise the potential of the other and be appreciative and respectful, rather than being aggressive and doubting the competencies of the other.
Some other useful methods that will help strike a balance between the professional and personal relationship among the colleagues are organizing office luncheons, movie plans, work parties or sports activities. Help the employees and the company by allowing some real vacation time to the staff where they can keep work to work and not mix it in their holiday time.
Giving the option of flexible timings also helps employees plan out their work by themselves according to the fixed hours in office. Giving assignments that are feasible and not overwhelming, understanding where and how you can utilize your employee’s strengths for your work and taking care of if the employee has understood the task, can be much helpful for the long run as there will be less of disparity among colleagues for similar tasks, leading to less office politics. Beautifying the workplace by adjusting the lights, temperature, encouraging employees to organize their cubicle space and paying attention to every minute detail of your organization can work wonders. Allowing in-between breaks and putting up a pleasant demeanour yourself can also help minimize the office politics and foster a pleasant work culture, with increased productivity.
Incorporate these small changes in your company and see if the internal competition and personal hostilities are lessened. Your employees will certainly value you more and undoubtedly thank you for this!
They may bring their Monday’s productivity level into that of Friday’s if you try to change the office moods and plan events on a Monday than on a Friday!