If left unaddressed, destructive office politics can demoralise an organisation, hamper productivity and increase labour turnover. Happily, there are a few useful practices to enable both staff and management to avoid the fall-out.
The easiest way to avoid personnel problems in the office is to get along with your colleagues. You needn’t pretend those you work with are your best friends, but being pleasant and professional goes a long way. If you have to refuse a request, explain why and try to come up with alternative solutions.
Divert away from gossip
Nothing destroys trust and loyalty more than gossip, especially in the office. If confronted with gossip try subtly changing the subject to topics that are less likely to be divisive.
Try and avoid incentives that pit staff against each other – this can cause unnecessary friction within the office. To minimise this possibility, look at incentivising activity that benefits the organisation as a whole rather than encouraging departments to compete.
Lead by example
Many employees will look to senior staff for guidance. Managers can help to set the tone of the office by being inclusive, encouraging ideas and offering constructive feedback.
Pull together for charity
Helping to raise funds for local or national charities can give staff a shared sense of achievement and can be a great way to get people from disparate departments talking to each other.
Don’t forget the fun
Getting to know colleagues outside work hours can really help to drive team spirit. Try and come up with activities that suit everybody – and respect the wishes of those who don’t always want to take part.
Richard Morris, UK CEO, Evans Easyspace comments: “A disjointed team will never be as productive as one that collaborates and encourages each other. A few simple steps can ensure that the office environment remains harmonious – to the benefit of individual staff, and the organisation as a whole.”
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