Politics in the Workplace: How Can Managers Keep the Peace?

  • 6th Apr'22
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Office politics is a common phenomenon and it happens in every workplace worldwide. After all, we are humans. Being political savvy is in our nature. 

The fast-paced working environment can be hampered easily if the employees are engaged in gossip and office politics. However, avoiding the damage to the working environment due to politics in the workplace is the duty of managers. But how can managers keep the peace? What exactly is workplace politics? As usual, I have come up with solutions. Today we will learn about workplace politics and what you can do to deal with it to keep the peace in the workplace. 

 

What is Workplace Politics? 

An organization is an arrangement where individuals from different walks of life come together and join hands in achieving a common goal. Workplace politics arises when employees misuse their power to gain undue attention and popularity in the organization. 

Workplace politics lead to tarnishing their colleagues’ reputations to be in the good books of their managers and leaders. It is unethical and creates a toxic working environment leading to a bad image of the organization. If you have the potential, nothing is stopping you! 

 

The Drawbacks of Workplace Politics 

As I mentioned earlier, workplace politics is unethical and creates a toxic environment. But it has more cons to it. 

  • Workplace politics never helps in the long run.

  • It increases conflicts and tension in the workplace.

  • Individuals find it difficult to work due to unnecessary politics.

  • Politics makes friends turn into foes. 

  • Employees feel burdened and do not enjoy working. 

 

Workplace Politics

 

Reasons for Workplace Politics 

Everything happens for a reason! Here are some of the major reasons for politics in the workplace. 

  • Lack of supervision and control by the managers.

  • Less work and too much gossip. 

  • Jealous colleagues.

  • Employees aspiring to come into the limelight without hard work. 

  • Employees trying to achieve success in a short time. 

 

How Can Managers Keep the Peace?

Workplace politics is inevitable, but it can be overcome with proper leadership and influence. David A. Frankel, the managing partner of executive consultant firm Slingstone Group, agrees that there will always be workplace politics. Managers and leaders have to avoid its impact on the workplace. 

He says, “ Everyone comes to the table with their personal goals, egos, aspirations, and agendas, and for someone to get what they want, there is always going to be some level of compromise, negotiation, and politicking.” 

The political environment of your company starts with your top executives. Here are a few tips for managers to keep peace in the workplace. 

 

Job Satisfaction 

Job mismatch is the biggest reason for politics in the workplace. The work responsibilities must be assigned as per the interests, specialization, and educational qualifications of the employees. The task must not be imposed on the employees. You must take care that every individual enjoys their work and stays loyal to the organization. The employees are only engaged in politics when they have ample time, so you must make sure they have work on hand. 

 

Transparency 

Once, the Dalai Lama said, “A lack of transparency results in distrust and a deep sense of insecurity.”  To reduce politics, transparency must be maintained at all levels of the workplace. You must make sure that the company’s policies are the same for every individual. 

 

Discussions 

Every issue must be discussed in an open forum and every individual related to the matter must be allowed to participate. The problems arise when the issues are not resolved or are discussed in closed cabins. The employees do not get a clear picture, so they start assuming things, and then the problem begins. It is better to create a space where individuals can confront their views and grievances. 

 

Communication 

Communication can make or break a leader. Effective communication minimizes the chances of politics in the workplace. You must ensure that the information is not manipulated at any cost. It is important to be in constant touch with the employees through emails to keep them in the loop. 

As a leader, you must be aware of what is happening around you. So, no employee can cook up stories against anyone working in the organization. 

 

Positive Mindset 

Mindset matters for success, not only for any individual but also for an organization. Employees must have a calm and composed attitude in the workplace. You can organize some weekly or monthly sessions for a positive mindset. It is also important to tell employees that they must know their boundaries and not be very friendly or overly generous with their secrets.

This can lead them into trouble, which eventually impacts the organization. A positive mindset will help employees to achieve their goals on time without getting into any politics. 

 

Workplace Politics

 

Workplace Decorum 

Every place you go has some rules and ethics to follow. You must ensure that the employees in your organization concentrate on their work rather than peeking at their colleague’s work. The employees must avoid backstabbing and making fun of others. This will not only lead to a toxic work environment but will also cause mental trauma to the victim. 

 

Conclusion

For a healthy and positive ambiance at the workplace, you must try to avoid workplace politics. Leaders should not tolerate political behavior and should take immediate action to control it.  This will not only help your employees focus more on their work, but it will also allow the organization to grow quickly. Remember, being a great leader requires deliberate practice. 

Politics in the workplace cannot be eliminated, but it can be reduced. As David Frankle said, “No matter how committed a leader is, the work environment cannot be completely depoliticized.” However, executives that make a concerted effort can effectively reduce the impact that politics will have as an obstacle to the company’s success.

 

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Sources/References:

*Note: The content published above was made in collaboration with our members.

About the author:

KAJAL THARWANI, OpenGrowth Content Team

An explorer who takes risks and learns from her mistakes. An aspirational content writer, studying social work. Kajal loves trying her hands in different crafts.


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