Making Your Employees Rise Above Organizational Politics
Workplace is a melting pot of diverse personalities coming from various cultures, communities, races, and ethnicities. Just like every other social group in our lives, co-workers shape organizational culture. Amidst all the drama and gossip, politics start simmering naturally. Office politics is often an inevitable part of working in an organization. However, if left unchecked, it can quickly ripen into a toxic workplace environment. An unhealthy workplace often becomes a breeding ground for gossip and drama which ultimately decrease productivity and demoralize hard working employees. Toxic behavior spreads exponentially, and an unbounded negative behavior can overwhelm and exhaust even the most grounded employee. So, how can you make your employees rise above workplace politics and find their ways into the peace for the day? Listing some tips. Promote open communication Transparency and open communication are the pillars of a trustworthy workplace environment. When management clearly defines goals and objectives, it reduces the chances of internal politics. Keep every employee updated on progress towards key metrics, goals to focus on, and issues that need to be addressed. It brings everyone on the same page. In addition, the communication between leaders and team members should be transparent, and information should flow directly rather than through a circuitous grapevine. When leaders and management explain their decisions openly, it sets clear expectations before employees as well as discourages negative pushback and backbiting. Though promoting open communication may be difficult for organizations, there are clear benefits of this system. It creates minimal opportunities for gossips and misinformation that can be utilized by some employees for their personal agendas. Set clear goals Office politics often transpires when people don’t focus on their job or when someone senses that they should be doing someone else’s job which they aren’t currently doing. A workplace can’t be healthy if employees are not focusing on their jobs. A wise step to check this is to allocate defined tasks to every individual and track them on a regular basis. Companies are made of different individuals with a clear set of responsibilities. To foster a healthy workplace, it is crucial to drive the workforce to the assigned tasks, follow a clear vision through inspirational leadership, giving them neither the time nor the motivation to poke their nose in someone else’s affairs. Recognize the warning signs It shouldn’t come as a surprise that people spending 40+ hours may disagree at times. Power struggles, petty problems, and ego clashes are bound to occur. It is impossible for management to insert itself into every minor tiff, but being a spectator is not an ideal solution. If conflict is impacting productivity and business priorities, organization should interfere or at least get their leaders to address the conflict at hand. When a clear intervention is crucial, it is advisable to call a meeting and listen to the concerns of all parties involved. If evidently one person is the source of resistance, confront them individually. Manipulation, spotlight stealing, miscommunication are highly corrosive and potentially contagious behaviors that have no room in a productive workplace environment. Don’t let a black sheep infect the whole flock. Address the discord as early as possible. Curb favoritism It is obvious for an organization to make effort to retain their top performers, but it shouldn’t come at the expense of others. Establish special rules for selected individuals will undoubtedly give rise to resentment. Giving preferential treatment to some employees may upset others. Establish a reputation for being fair to all employees and enforce policies evenly. Conduct training sessions “We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence then, is not an act, but a habit.” – Aristotle Often employees indulge in office politics unknowingly. They are seldom aware of the negative influence it leaves on their mind. Making them navigate through organizational politics may be a smart move to stop the dissemination of toxic environment. Another wise step is to teach managers and leaders to use power responsibly. Political competence is a crucial skill every employee wishes to have, but seldom anyone talks about it. For a workforce to be productive, organizations need to develop these skills within their teams. Learning & Development Courses can be a helpful tool as it enables employees to: 1.List the basics of communication 2.Understand themselves and others 3.Learn to Manage Conflict 4. Learn the nuances of office politics 5. Develop the skills needed to navigate the setup The truth is that it is challenging to eliminate the negative aspects of organization politics completely. But, supportive management can make employees team-oriented and loyal, creating a healthy workplace environment.