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Office Politics...Should you be Involved?

A key part of working with a candidate as a recruitment consultant is to understand their motivations for wanting to leave their current role. And on the back of this we pick up on trends and common reasons that people give. one of the key factors for an employee to consider a change is, Office Politics.

If you work in an organisation, office politics will exist to some degree. It can become an issue for employees if managers are not aware or don't keep things in check. Sometimes, if a situation is left unattended it can begin to form its own culture which may not be beneficial for staff morale. And some employees may begin to look for opportunities outside of the business.

Is Office Politics more prevalent in larger organisations?

When it comes to office politics, the size of the organisation won't affect the effect magnitude. The lager the organisation, more layers are involved to determine the decision makers while smaller organisations have a smaller structure. Ultimately, It'll lead to one-person missing out on an opportunity and another rising in the ranks.

I believe that office politics is most prevalent in environments that encourage competition and conflicting needs and wants. in a space where everyone has set responsibilities and progression is determined by your achievements with no clashes with your peers, it is hard to establish a foundation for office politics. Whereas in an environment where your goals are largely like the person next to your, clashes and 'back-stabs' will occur. Who doesn't want a promotion?

What can you do?

Delving too deep into office politics can become troublesome. One can reason that if you play your cards right, you will always be satisfying the right people and continue to progress. But, you never know when you might slip up.

  1. Office politics is inevitable, this does not mean that you don’t make any friends or get to know your colleagues. The best way to deal with issues is to understand who are the key players and stand in a neutral stance so you are neither involved or disinvolved.

  2. If you are subjected to people taking credit for your work. Ensure your superiors are aware what you are doing and how involved you are in the team/project. You do not want to be in a position where your productivity is questioned.

  3. Never drop to their level. It could be tempting to think of a way to get back at those that tried to undermine you, it’ll ultimately become a never-ending cycle of conflict.

Take Home Message:

Office Politics will occur in big or small organisations, if there is competition you will have clashing needs and wants. Protect your work and your career by keeping a neutral stance and documenting your work with updates and meetings with superiors so they understand you are there to work for the business, not to play a game. The workplace isn’t like a pedestrian crossing where people wait for you to reach the end at your own pace.

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