Employee Engagement, Employee Relations, Rewards and Recognition
Office Politics are simply the powerplay that is still like a puzzle for most of the workers in their workspace. On one side there is a small chunk of the employees who are fortunate enough to gain promotions and rewards, on the other side there is a huge force of worthy Candidates who aren't able to climb the ladder. This is where the social prowess of an employee matters up and above the skills and talent. There can be instances where a relatively less talented person gets a promotion ahead of a more skillful employee banking on his relations in the workplace.
Positive Politics which is the good side of office politics, in rare cases can be the use of one’s power to influence others to foster the organization and the person playing the politics, which is a win-win situation. This can encourage efficiency, the initiative taking capability of being a catalyst for change. Moreover, it creates healthy workplace relationships, thereby benefiting each individual and the organization. But often we come across the tainted side of office politics.
Office Politics: How it works? Getting under the skins of office politics.
There is no rocket science involved in understanding the fact that wherever money is involved humans are bound to put in enhanced efforts to gain more power, money, and roles. This makes any organization prone to political foul plays. Rather than fighting the fact, it is better to own it and use the power of Office politics in the betterment of the business.
The pathetic reputation office politics has is on account of the common features the players have resorted to from time immemorial such as manipulative, deceptive, corrupt, fake praisers who die for promotion and power in their workplace. The achievements they foster are not gained by the proper means and have a lot of untalkable backstories involved.
It may be an innate thing for some people to play Office Politics, while some may wholeheartedly eschew it. Nonetheless, each is playing their own versions of office politics and knowing what you are dealing with is of the utmost importance. As politics involve power and power is like fire, one should know the fundamental rules.
Why is Office Politics Gaining Traction?
With the millennials taking over almost all of the workforce, the changing requirements of the generation need attention. More than ever the current workforce demands better treatment from the organization which includes fairness and having the feeling of identity for the work they do in the company. They are very much eager to make a change and leave their footprints in whatever they do.
Willfully disengaging from the powerplay in the workplace makes you vulnerable in your position. The power of networking cannot be undermined in any sense, you will have to find a way to adapt to the culture within the organization. Having the right connections enables you to stay stable at your position or achieve better milestones. Staying naive about this will only harm you. However harmless you may think you are, your non-participation in the office dynamics makes you seem like an unmotivated and unfriendly person.
The promotion you took innocently with pride, may have pissed a lot of co-workers not because of jealousy, but your position may have been filled by their favorite colleague. Having them on your side could have solved this. The only way to solve these is to actively pursue office politics by keeping your standards as high as they can get.
Office Politics: The bad eggs.
Anyone who is accustomed to an office setting will be so familiar with the negative side of office politics and might have been a victim of that. Knowing all this clearly is the first step to effectively contradict it.
The boss of Gossip:
There will be someone in an office who knows A to Z about each and every person working there. They won’t hesitate to share any dirty secrets with a tagline, “don’t tell anyone I told you this.” Here is the classic rule of keeping work relations strictly professional comes into play. Personal life is not meant to be talked at work, as it won’t do any good.
They take all the credit for any kind of group work or good deeds which they are part of with foul tactics. For preventing your credit theft, keep updating your boss about your work and make your professional activities public whenever possible. Maintain a good distance from them, make them believe that you are on their side, but never blindly trust them.
These ones are so good to talk nicely to you and lure you into problems. But most of the leaders are good at recognizing such cheats. Try not to get into the troubles of others, as you barely have time to handle your mess and there's no guarantee that the person will remember to return favors.
They are the least friendly and dangerously competitive. They are ready to go any extent to win their wishes while taking no responsibility even for their own mistakes. Keep your activities tracked and share it constantly with the HR department to keep yourself away from this kind.
How to Play Healthy Office Politics?
Before you plunge into it with the know-it-all hat, it's better to keep in mind about some of these obvious yet deadly pitfalls. Here is how you can achieve it. Remember one thing you might have to get your hands dirty sometimes but that will ensure the future prosperity of yours at the workplace.
As you have noticed, networking with your colleagues is one of the primary requirements. Yet you should be careful in choosing the way to make them dear. Make the bridges where you can hear the magic words “I owe you one”. For this, you should be ready to help them in need. At the same time don’t go all the way in without understanding the person which helps him to take advantage of you. Remember, saying NO to something also helps in building up a healthy relationship.
Know your Audience:
An office consists of different types and generations of people working together. Flocking with the same feather is not advised by experts. Make friends from all parts of the spectrum which means you get better stability. You never know there can be circumstances where you might need the help of the person you were least interested in interacting with.
Know your Position:
Remember this basic rule of relationships. If anyone behaves or talks like they are going to pull you down, understand they are below you and don’t get down to their level. Here is where having reliable friends help you. The crux is that simply maintain your standards.
Don’t throw dirt to shine:
Talking bad about colleagues to get the favor of someone will backfire maybe not immediately but definitely. This creates suspicions in the listener that you might do the same to him in his absence or behind his back and this will cost you your genuine connections.
Other important skills you need to play well in office politics are social observation, interaction and influencing capabilities, networking, understanding the power dynamics of the workspace, and the capability to neutralize the negative office politics. Everyone should focus on bringing their best in climbing the ladder to success, and not pulling the legs of others. In the end, it is best for each of you to neutralize such office politics and make the organization go reach heights with a collective and greedless effort.