How to Build a Stronger Team with Office Politics

Posted by Steve Carter on Apr 19, 2016 4:52:00 PM
Steve Carter
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According to a survey conducted by Montreal-based PsychTests, 20 percent of employees plan on changing jobs this year due to office-related issues such as conflict with management, toxic office environment, and destructive office politics.

Office politics has been a jaded subject for many human resource professionals. Being a necessary evil for sustaining a company culture, good or bad, office politics can make or break productivity, working partnerships and set the tone for the whole organization.

Suppose a bright prospect gets hired based on outstanding credentials, excellent skills and proven achievements. From day one, she rolls up her sleeves, does an outstanding job, knocks performance reviews out of the park only to realize a year later that she is getting fired because she didn’t “fit in” with the company. She is no longer being seen as a valuable employee because she’s spent days at her desk doing actual work in silo, without mentioning the results to management or even her coworkers. 

Doing a great job without speaking about it doesn’t necessarily get you noticed, no matter how good of an employee you are. This is the time when you need to start participating in office politics. And, if you are one of those managers who’s been forced to let a productive employee go or have lost a brilliant co-worker due to office politics, here are a few tips you can use to help your counterparts get smarter about networking:

1. High performers don’t always get noticed by the executives

Even the brightest of the employees sometime make a mistake of not passing the results of their work to the executive team. As a part of networking, always be sure that your own work and the work of your team gets properly noticed by the executive team. Otherwise your management may not even know how the important company goals are being achieved and therefore can’t praise the right person. Always encourage open communication where everyone is able to openly speak about their individual contributions.

2. More introverted personalities are less favorable

We tend to like people with similar interests and those who we can relate to. This is natural. But what if one of your co-workers doesn’t normally share her personal life, or isn't good at small talk? If they prefer to stay in their cubicle and do their job doesn’t mean that they are socially awkward, it just means that they need a nudge to get out of their shell. A good leader understands the importance of personal interactions and even the simplest of questions like “How was your weekend?” may open the doors to interesting conversations and discovered similarities.

3. They believe that cream will always rise to the top

People who are dedicated to completing every task with due diligence also believe that the results of their work will eventually get noticed. They don’t want to seem as self-promoters and even the most attentive of managers may take the results of their work for granted. Busy executives have so much on their plate that when the work of their subordinates is consistently good they forget how much is being put into it. A good leader, however, will always remember to sincerely praise employees.

Presenting your best skills and achievements in an interview is great, but positioning yourself as a valued employee doesn’t just stop there. Without bragging and playing games, everyone can still participate in office politics and use it for networking and building stronger relationships instead of gossip and destructive behavior. That’s why we encourage the leadership to constantly give your office politics a health check and make sure that it actually helps build a strong company culture. 

These were just a few tips on leveraging office politics for building a strong fit between employees, managers and the rest of the company. If you would like to learn more about how to strengthen your company culture, check out Candidate.Guru demo.


Topics: employee management, office politics, employee retention

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