HRM Five: How to manage (and prevent) office politics

Like it or not, office politics are part and parcel of work. But what can we do to better manage or better still, avoid it?
By: | January 5, 2020

It’s a brand new year. But will you face the same old office politics?

Like it or not, workplace politics are common. In fact, it’s part and parcel of the working life. But what we can do as employers is learn how to deal with it. Or better still, avoid it.

Do you know that office politics actually reduces overall productivity at work and is one of the main contributors to workplace stress?

And not only does it affect productivity, it creates an unhealthy culture and work environment for everyone in the office. This will increase the likelihood of employees leaving the company and create an unwanted reputation that will deter new talents.

HR plays an important role in helping to control and stamp out politics at the workplace. Here are some tips in managing it.

1) Hire the right people

It all starts off with the hiring. Many employers tend to over focus on the candidates’ CV rather than personality and culture fit with the company. While it’s important to hire the right person with the right skills and experience for the job, it’s equally as important to hire someone who can fit into the culture of the company.

2) Don’t play favourites

This is usually the root of all office politics. Favoritism and double standards are the sure-fire way of causing unhappiness and back-stabbing in the office. So always make sure you treat all employees fairly so there will be no reason for them to talk behind your back.

3) Have good and open communication

Just like how a breakdown in communication affects relationships, the same applies for the workplace. Make sure things are communicated with employees in an open and honest way. And let them know they can always approach the HR should they have any concerns.

4) Organise more team bonding events

Nothing quite prevents workplace politics like having a close knitted and bonded office. When employees enjoy a close relationship, there will be better communication in the office and it will only help to minimise the chance of workplace politics.

5) Change the culture from within

It all starts from within. You can either have a toxic and unhealthy work environment or choose to build a culture and a workplace that is positive, kind and encouraging. Choose the latter and employees will learn to appreciate and work better with one another.