How to handle office politics

05 June 2017

Whether you’re behind a desk, on a builder’s yard or in a manufacturing plant, ‘office’ politics are unavoidable in any industry.

Getting rid of them is pretty unrealistic. Instead, put your efforts into handling them right when they arise.

  1. Fizzle out favouritism

If you brush off arriving late for one employee but give another a verbal warning, the latter is inevitably going to feel disgruntled. In this instance, make sure you have a clear lateness policy and consistently roll it out across all employees.

  1. When banter goes too far

There’s a fine line between banter and offensive chat – and sometimes it’s even discriminatory. Make sure your employees – and yourself – are aware of where to draw the line, and if it’s crossed, make sure you follow a fair procedure as set out in your business’ policies. Not a dab hand when it comes to policies? We’ve got your back.

  1. The gossiping grapevine

Did you know so and so is dating is dating the manager? Have you heard that so and so’s partner cheated on them? It’s important to gauge when gossiping goes too far, and the impact it might have on talked about employees. The last thing you want is employees feeling bullied or harassed.

  1. Power trips

Equality, respect and fair communication all form part of a quality team. Just because someone’s more senior, it doesn’t give them the right to talk down to others, or treat them any less equally. If they do, needless to say, you’ll be lumbered with an unhappy, unvalued workforce. The answer? Make sure you and any line managers are clear on best practices when it comes to managing your employees.

  1. Fibbers

You know, the ones that’ll say anything to get out of trouble – even if it means throwing someone else in the firing line. It goes without saying you can’t go around branding an employee a liar, but you can make sure you’ve got all the facts. Not sure how to handle the situation? We’re here for you if you need us.

  1. Lazy-itis

“I hope I don’t have to work with so and so, they never pull their weight.” “So and so never hands in a project on time.” Instead of brushing the murmur of moans under the carpet and letting others pick up the slack, be proactive. If an employee’s not pulling their weight, pull them to one side and remind them of what’s expected of them – your policies will back you up on this.

Politics getting the better of you?

If your business’ politics are grinding you down and you need a helping hand to get (and keep!) on top of them, you can reach out to one of our expert consultants on 0345 844 1111.

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