8 Tips for Keeping Office Politics Out of Your Workplace

Learn proactive strategies to foster transparency, collaboration, and conflict resolution, creating a healthier work environment and boosting team morale

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All of us want to excel in the workplace, and to advance our careers as much as possible. That’s all well and good when it comes to investing in professional development opportunities or showing team leadership competencies. It’s something else when it comes to playing
office politics.

Simply put, office politics refers to any kind of behavior that individuals engage in to improve their status or personal agenda within the workplace. Office politics can include anything from alliance-forming to under-the-table negotiations, and often, it erodes trust and morale across the entire team.

Office politics can happen anywhere, even in home service companies. Thankfully, there are some practical steps you can take to keep office politics to a minimum.

How to Dampen Office Politics in Your Place of Work

1) Emphasize transparency and clear communication.

First and foremost, create an office environment where leaders and managers communicate openly, freely share information with the entire staff and resist keeping secrets. Transparent communication can significantly reduce speculation or misunderstanding, both of which contribute to office politics.

2) Lead by example.

Managers can set the tone by demonstrating fairness, integrity and professionalism in their actions and decisions. When employees see honorable behavior modeled from the top of the organization, they're more likely to follow suit.

3) Clarify roles and responsibilities.

Ensure you have precise, specific job descriptions in place for each position. When everyone knows their lane, it can reduce jockeying for position or other forms of workplace turf wars.

4) Foster an environment of collaboration.

Promote a collaborative environment where teamwork is encouraged and recognized. Regularly assign projects to partnerships or teams, coaxing employees to work together as opposed to competing with one another.

5) Address conflicts proactively.

Don't ignore signs of office politics, including escalating tensions or interpersonal conflicts. Address them promptly and impartially before they spiral out of control. Encourage employees to resolve conflicts constructively through open dialogue, but also be prepared to offer mediation as necessary.

6) Offer training in conflict resolution.

Managers, in particular, can benefit from conflict resolution workshops, equipping them to step in and address any issues they see on the front lines. Bringing in a conflict resolution coach, or even investing in digital resources, can yield a significant long-term benefit. 

7) Reward results and performance.

Keep your team’s focus not on personal agendas, but on achieving organizational goals. Recognize and reward employees based on their performance and contributions rather than on their political calculations.

8) Make sure your employees feel heard.

Finally, be sure to create channels for employees to provide feedback, share ideas, and participate in the decision-making process. When employees feel heard and valued, they're less likely to resort to office politics.

Keep Office Politics Out of Your Workplace

As you consider different ways to build a healthy work environment, be intentional in stamping out office politics. Doing so can be a critical way to safeguard the morale and productivity of your entire team.


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