Rumor Has It: Five Ways to Reframe Workplace Politics

Companies deal with a variety of challenges on a daily basis. These challenges include policy regulation, compliance, financial management, customer service, and data security. To ensure the right solutions, companies rely on consultants, board members, business lawyers, and process servers.

But when it comes to internal office affairs, managers and employees also have a fair share of workplace issues. One example is workplace politics that has largely affected company decisions, values, and relationships. They are a fact of life in any organization and can take the form of rumors, credit stealing, and malicious alliances. Although office politics are inevitable, they can be easily addressed with the right influence and leadership. This article will talk about ways to reframe office politics and how you can fix them.

Expect accountability among team members

Every worker should understand their role and responsibility and how they contribute to the organization’s overall success. Whenever the company reaches a significant milestone, the management should recognize it as a celebration and a team win for those whose participation contributed to the success. It should include all departments and everyone involved, not just the manager, team lead, or even the CEO.

In the event of major failures or mistakes, anyone who contributed to the project is expected to show accountability or take ownership of their roles, including the top management. This way, teams can easily fix the mistake and prevent them from happening again. When employees are afraid of taking responsibility for company losses but are willing to be praised for success, it shows they are only interested in their own success instead of the company’s.

Strengthen relationship currency

Building your performance and credibility around your work isn’t enough to help you achieve the success you’re looking for—whether it’s a promotion, bonus, or recognition from your seniors. But taking time to build your network and connections that will speak for your work and achievements will help you get what you want. Investing in strategic relationships isn’t a distraction from your job but an important aspect of career development.

You should also determine how and where you will build those relationships, especially in a virtual work environment. It can be during a virtual coffee meeting, social network sites, hour-long video chats, or whatever platform your network prefers. This allows you to cultivate your existing relationships and grow new ones outside your current social circle.

people in the office

Rethink the work culture

Employers should look at office politics as something they could turn into a positive. If internal conflicts keep brewing in the workplace, maybe it’s time to dig deeper into the current work culture.

Changing the workplace culture is a complex process and may even earn different opinions among people involved. In this case, you need to discuss this change with the employees and invite them to work together in creating a culture that values people and discourages abuse or discrimination in any form. Encourage them to be more empathetic and take pride in the success of their coworkers. By making efforts to change the culture to a kind and honest one, you can bring a safe space for everyone.

Keep a record of work and achievements

Encourage everyone at work to keep a record of their achievements, projects, and tasks. This avoids incidents when someone takes credit for their work and other disputes.

Most of us tend to directly expose people who commit credit stealing, but this can only lead to discrimination, embarrassment, and miscommunication. The best thing to do is to document your work and update your manager and team about your progress and output. Not only will it keep everyone up-to-date with your activities, but it can also protect you from those who want to challenge your contribution or question your skills. This way, your records will secure your reputation since you can always prove your productivity when questioned.

Address any hint of political behavior right away

Employers should measure their employees’ success based on the company objectives. If the office discovers any hint of political behavior in the group email or during a meeting, address this immediately.

Anyone who pushes their personal agenda, regardless of their role or position in the organization, shouldn’t be tolerated. The moment leadership tolerates bureaucratic or political behavior is an invitation to let it run rampant in the work culture.

No matter how our leaders are committed to improving the company culture, employees shouldn’t let it be completely depoliticized. Everyone should make proactive efforts to be more transparent and accessible to lessen the impact of office politics on the organization’s success.

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