Free Essay

The Bad the Good the Ugly

In: Business and Management

Submitted By mbeckham69
Words 1025
Pages 5
Max Beckham

Management Individual Paper

6 December 2015

Power And Influence The Bad-----------The Good-----------The Ugly

Perhaps due to negative connotation, many people through out the work place avoid office politics as much as possible. But the truth is, to ensure your own wellbeing and the success of future projects you must navigate your way through the minefield known as, “office politics.” In order to survive, one must keep up with the politics in their workplace and learn how to “play the game.”
Office politics are evident when important decisions at work are made, this encourages workers to begin in political behavior to ensure they get their way. Some people have more power over other employees, either through hierarchy in business or determined by length of time with company. Whether you are the pencil pusher at the bottom of the totem poll or the CEO you will have to face the fact that you must try to be politically correct in the workplace.
For everyone in the company receiving a promotion this can be of utmost importance. To deal effectively with office politics, first you must accept the reality of it. Once you’ve done this, you must figure out a plan or strategize on how to cope with the political behavior happening in the office. The best way to this is to listen, letting others take the reins at the beginning. Use the information you gather to build a strong sense of identity around coworkers which promotes the personality traits and attributes that are important to your workplace (Mindtools). Another way is to lobby for the respect and trust of all your colleagues, including those in the lower levels of the company. According to U.S. workers, office politics is with us to stay. A study of 400 U.S. workers from staffing firm Robert Half International says that nearly 60 percent of workers believe that involvement in office politics is at least somewhat necessary to get ahead (Forbes). There are also many reasons why people argue that politics in the workplace should be eliminated. One of the main supporting factors is that is creates an unhealthy competitive environment for workers to succeed in. Politics can also be a distraction from daily work related materials and put focus on issues that are not related to the company business. This also creates a new task for supervisors and managers, having to monitor the daily interactions between coworkers. Micro-managing employees is not an efficient way to eliminate drama or hierarchy within the work environment. People also argue that office politics have ruined many positive working environments. Employees are fearful that coworkers are creating drama or rumors about them in order to push themselves forward and pull others down. The constant fear of what happens behind your back can cause unnecessary issues with trust within the workplace and damages employee relationships. In contrast, organizational politics can also benefit a company and the overall working environment. Workplace politics create competition between individuals, which inevitably encourages coworkers to go above and beyond what is expected of them. The idea of competition in a workplace further promotes hard work and success. The idea of moving up through out the organizational hierarchy also gives goals for employees to work towards by following protocol and working with fellow employees. It is also hard to eliminate from a workplace completely because these interactions are hard to monitor or regulate. Internal politics within a company would be difficult to eliminate and would not benefit the company for many reasons. Everyone talks to coworkers in or around the work environment so its hard for them not to get caught in work drama or issues within the workplace. When trust is gained among employees, many situations are shared and it is impossible to cut off those transactions. People also will step over or on top of each other to get ahead whether or not the organization’s hierarchy and political stance are present. The company would also have to enforce disciplinary action when violated. This is very situational and often hard to see or confirm within a daily work environment.
Through my personal experience working, I have encountered organizational politics and found them to be beneficial. Working for the Buffalo Wild Wings Corporation as a host, I was encouraged to work my way up through the organization and earn my position. Eventually working my way to Front of House, a server, and eventually a bartender. The environment made me succeed at each level to my highest potential until I was able to move up to a position that required more focus and hard work. Competition for open positions was present amongst me and my coworkers which helped us all succeed. Working in an environment that pushed me to do my best helped me build a better work ethic for years to come.
Being competitive in the workplace will benefit you in a positive manner if you don’t put down people on the way. If you build healthy relationships with the people around you it will help you network, which will make it easier for you to make to up the ladder. There is no way to completely eliminate office politics, so you should try to embrace them. Office politics can have a positive effect on you and the company if gone about in the right way. Try to find a middle ground between an office full of politics and an office with very little. The relationships you maintain with your coworkers will affect how happy you are at work and how much negative tension is in the room. Employees who actually like their coworkers are less likely to throw someone under the bus or gossip about a colleague. All in all, office politics will always be there so you can either join them or sit on the sidelines wondering what’s going on. You want to be in the know, but don’t go around spreading rumors and being childish. The office is about getting work done, and wouldn’t you rather get tasks completed with people you actually enjoy. Remember sometimes, influential people don’t hold influential titles.

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