…one’s perspective of office politics is largely determined by where they stand in its outplay.
Last week I started out to write on workplace politics and then I realized I was subconsciously arguing different sides in my mind – is office politics a good or a bad thing? This imaginary tussle between two FKs went on and on with neither side winning, and so I decided to sample people’s opinions and broaden my perspective beyond my own experiences. In all, I had eleven people who work within public and private institutions respond to a set of questions based on their unique experiences with office politics.
On whether office politics is good or bad, six people (the majority) decided that ‘it all depends’, two decided ‘it is bad’, one decided ‘It is good’ and one person had no idea. To be honest, I understood the diversity of opinions having worked with three organizations myself. I know clearly that one’s perspective of office politics is largely determined by where they stand in its outplay.
To an employee, nothing feels more important than having a sense of value and progression within an organization
This may appear as more suited for people walking career paths, the ones popularly referred to as ‘9 to 5ers’, the group to which I currently belong, but if you are a business owner, your organization is likely to have a better work culture and employee retention when you have an awareness of politics within the workplace. To an employee, nothing feels more important than having a sense of value and progression within an organization. It is sweet to celebrate someone’s promotion, but it is sweeter when you are the person being promoted. Also, we tend to feel that we had a good day when we get an appreciative remark or a rewarding smile from the boss, and so we will do everything we can to make this happen.
What are those elements that tip off the scale from doing genuine work to ‘playing politics’?
In certain industries, career progression is characterized by ‘cutthroat’ competition, the systems are deliberately designed this way to ensure that only the best talents are attracted, rewarded/promoted, and retained. So, where then does striving for advancement intersect with office politics? What are those elements that tip off the scale from doing genuine work to ‘playing politics’?
Nonetheless and sadly, I admit that office politics is not escapable.
Before we go further, I should state that I do not think that office politics is a good thing. If it were, we wouldn’t shy away from calling it by its name – office politics. I mean, why is it never hung on the beautiful reception walls of organization as one of Our Core Values? Why is the ‘ability to play politics’ never included as a required skill in job adverts? Nonetheless and sadly, I admit that office politics is not escapable. This does not mean I agree with the ‘play or be played’ mantra, no I don’t. Instead, I will be sharing tips that can keep you growing and thriving even in the face of office politics.
There are several elements of office politics, and experiences differ from one to another. In my next post, I will share more insights and draw points from the responses obtained in the mini survey conducted. If you want to add your voice, drop your thoughts in the comment section or use the survey, here is the link.