Politics will always remain anchored to the functioning of every business. As its presence spreads across and swerves from one organization to the other, the degree of its influence fluctuates occasionally.
Organizational politics is a deep-seated malaise that has left many businesses in absolute disarray. It involves an obsessive quest to satisfy one's own individual interests at the cost of the general good of the organization. Activities that do not regard the goals of the organization and rely on browbeating and power-wresting tactics to achieve personal goals constitute the immense politicking that vitiates the atmosphere of businesses.
> It leads to a tense work environment and the rise of unfair methods like preferential treatment in allotting jobs to employees.
> Conflicts and acrimony become order of the day and politics would end up being the compass that directs promotions or growth in ranks.
> It could also result in an overly competitive atmosphere within the company which wears down one’s morale and can be toxic to general well-being.
There could be many reasons why organizations cannot purge themselves of the ubiquity of politics within their confines.
> It should be understood that politics starts from the moment we divide an organization into a hierarchy of employees. This creates varied control of power and a situation where only a few hold the reins. All these fester an atmosphere of mistrust and jealousy.
> Whenever a decision is made, the desire for its achievement could be bred by the pursuit of personal goals. This can work against the objectives of the organization.
> Sometimes, senior executives are forced to resort to power-play to get important work done.
> Other causes could be scarce resources, structural and social inequalities, mercenary interests, etc.
But it should also be appreciated that organizational politics if channelized in the right trajectory could prove to be a boon for organizations.
It can be possible for managers to cause political motives of employees to take a pirouette in a way that accommodates the interests of the organization and boosts efficiency. This can be done by identifying the needs of the employees and serving them and bringing out their best.
Also, what commonly happens is that politically charged employees deliver more since they have better personal strength and are less likely to cave into stress. They tend to do well which would subsequently have a positive impact on organizational outcomes.
But witnessing that sort of a transformation calls for certain actions on your part.
> Having a grasp of the kind of political terrain your organization treads on is extremely important. This translates to an understanding of the roles of the employees and the rules to be followed. The sooner you figure this out, the better.
> Having an open-door policy that doesn't discriminate between employees on any account should be a priority. Your staff should be encouraged to come forward with their concerns.
> Every relationship within the organization should be built on the foundation of trust and respect towards each other.
> Building a large and reliable network of contacts could work in your favor. There should be people you can count on to back you under any circumstances. This network should cut across hierarchical divisions too. They could very well act as a shield against politically powerful people.
> Observe the events around you, inter-personal relationships as well as conflicts, power distribution and motivating factors and analyze them deeply.
> Don't attach yourself to a single group; maintain connections with as many people as you can and try to make a positive impression.
> Never bad-mouth anyone and avoid getting embroiled in arguments. When voicing your disagreement, talk from the perspective of the organization and not on the basis of your personal stand.
Finally, acknowledging the presence of office politics goes a long way in tackling it and using it for promoting the welfare of the organization. This could expunge the ill-effects of negative politicking once and for all.