Team Building and Positive Politics at Work - The Evolved HR!

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Team Building and Positive Politics at Work

An adverse workplace culture leads to low employee retention and performance issues that erode profitability for any given organization.


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Negative office politics is marked by backstabbing, self-interest and favoritism; employees should learn how to address these challenges effectively in the workplace.

Here are several strategies for avoiding negative politics at work: 

1. Build a strong network.

Negative office politics create a toxic work environment and undermine company morale, leading to reduced productivity and an increase in employee turnover rates. Such political actions may even have legal and financial ramifications.

One way to counter negative office politics is by developing strong, healthy relationships within your team and organization. You can do this by encouraging authenticity and transparency within your workplace culture or by encouraging collaboration between team members and leadership through team communication software that facilitates efficient sharing of information and ideas.

Senior leaders play an essential role in encouraging positive politics within an organization. They can set the example for all employees by forgoing any political behavior that benefits only themselves; establish open feedback policies and enforce them fairly; promote skills-based hiring and promotion practices to minimize workplace politics by rewarding employees according to their skills rather than affiliation or tenure; as well as discourage gossiping that fuels negative office politics.

2. Focus on teamwork.

Workplace politics can have a positive influence on an organisation if teamwork is encouraged by leadership teams. When this behavior spreads to management ranks and eventually throughout the company, it creates a more productive working environment, improves relations and performance as well as boosts morale and boosts morale.

Leaders bear the responsibility of combatting negative office politics by encouraging transparency and collaboration between teams. Leaders must set an exemplary example by refraining from any political behaviors which undermine company goals, and making sure all decisions made serve in its best interest.

Office politics can often be driven by competition and the desire for acknowledgement. Unfortunately, negative actors often use their position to abuse others for personal gain.

Be mindful of their behaviors and note any red flags. These could include things such as lack of transparency in decision-making processes, excessive gossip or poor team communication. In addition, focus on building strong working relationships within and outside your organisation in order to avoid office politicians hijacking its culture.

3. Be a good listener.

Many avoid office politics altogether in fear it might create gossip, cliques and conflict; however, doing so limits career growth and influence as a leader.

Instead of simply tuning out political environments, why not learn to be an excellent listener instead? Doing so will enable you to build trust and improve your ability to solve problems effectively. Being an excellent listener requires setting aside biases and listening without judgment - not asking too many questions but simply showing interest by asking clarifying questions to demonstrate you care. Making eye contact with speakers so they know you are truly listening is also vitally important!

Managers must recognize negative power dynamics quickly and address them swiftly, such as making sure disciplinary actions are administered equitably or decreasing distance between lower-level employees and executives, or encouraging an environment of open communication, impact measurement, and collaboration. This is particularly crucial for new managers unfamiliar with their company's culture or political nuances.

4. Be a good leader.

Establishing positive workplace politics is one of the more challenging leadership tasks. This requires building relationships across an entire organization - not always easy conversations to have but when handled with empathy and respect they can bring about significant shifts in culture.

Personal grievances shouldn't enter the workplace, and leaders must listen to others. One effective strategy to facilitate this goal is implementing an open door policy - encouraging employees to come talk to you with any issues - even political ones!

Establishing an environment that cultivates compassion and empathy is the best way to stop negative office politics. Talent assessments during hiring should also help identify candidates less inclined towards backstabbing and other underhanded tactics, so you can build a team without engaging in destructive politics. When all is said and done, employees can focus on meeting company goals instead; here is where positive politics really come into its own!

5. Be a good friend.

Avoiding office politics requires keeping friendships at work separate from work responsibilities, to preserve your integrity and prevent you from getting drawn into rumor mills that damage team morale and lead to unproductive work.

If you feel as if you have formed an authentic bond at work, consider inviting that person out for an activity unrelated to work - this will enable the two of you to bond outside the workplace and may help ease any tension within the working relationship.

Care must be taken not to become too close with your manager as being too friendly can have detrimental repercussions on both careers and the ability to remain objective when discussing workplace politics.

When dealing with office politics, it's essential to maintain an assertive mental state and remain mentally tough. Otherwise, you risk getting caught in an endless cycle of backstabbing and other harmful tactics which impede productivity.

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