It’s always hard to deal with office politics because it’s easy for employees to get sidetracked and get involved in all kinds of gossip. What they really want is less distraction so they can focus on their work, but if they’re worried about stepping on the wrong toe or getting more involved in the situation, this is even more difficult.
A work environment that encourages employees to discuss respectfully through multiple channels and allows employees to communicate directly and openly in a psychologically safe space helps reduce feelings of conflict and misunderstanding. .
13 recommendations from members of the Forbes Human Resources Council to help your employees successfully navigate office politics, even in a remote environment.
1. Build strong alliances
Organizational politics don’t go away when you leave the office! Making important decisions with limited resources constantly requires navigating personality and priorities. Plan decision makers and assess the strength of your relationships to stay politically savvy, even remotely. Recognize that it’s time to proactively reach out to those who need support and meet in person! – Helene Lollis, Pathbuilders
2. Be Professional, Fair and Genuine
Humans are fundamentally political. When it comes to internal politics, there is a toxic side that eats away at the organization like an invasive worm. The positive side of office politics is to be professional, to give credibility to colleagues, to form healthy networks, to build consensus, to buy buy-in for good and innovative ideas, and to foster an inclusive culture. Prioritize forming and authenticity. – Awuese Oku, African Development Bank
3. Speak candidly and timely
The best way for employees to minimize political issues in the office is through timely and direct communication. Unfortunately, people often don’t speak up when they should, or they vent to third parties. Both can be avoided by communicating directly and politely. Senior management can minimize office politics by promoting transparency and incorporating skip-level feedback. – Kshitij Jain, Joveo
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4. Participate in Respectful Discussions Only
Employees don’t have to “navigate office politics”. Leaders should encourage respectful debate and create an environment in which employees can discuss various issues and topics openly, disagree openly, and speak freely. Doing so will bring issues to the forefront immediately and allow employees to address disagreements openly but respectfully so they don’t have to navigate office politics. – JacLyn Pagnotta, Allied Partners
5. Refocus on what matters
Remember that your job is to do the best you can and stay focused on your goals and priorities. If you find yourself embroiled in office politics, try taking a break and refocusing on what matters most. And if you’re having trouble making your own decisions about company policy, ask a mentor, HR representative, or trusted colleague for help. – Joseph Soares, IBROM Corp.
6. Talk on the phone
Almost all office politics issues can be resolved by answering the phone and speaking directly to the relevant colleague. Misunderstandings and misunderstandings are often the source of problems, not negative intentions. If not, try practicing co-worker accountability before involving your manager. – Patrick Donegan, SEI
7. Manage the situation properly
Office politics can destroy your company culture if you let it get worse. Employees need to manage, not navigate office politics. Start by assessing the source, information, and importance of communication. Then, be upfront with your solutions and point out problems that align with company values. This is a good way to start modifying the dynamics. But it all starts with leadership. -Julie Hankins, NNIT
8. Set boundaries to protect your psychological safety
Awareness is important because office politics can create a psychologically dangerous environment for employees. Organizations should work to mitigate the negative elements of office politics, but unfortunately that is part of what it is possible to work in a corporate environment. should be available and allow you to set boundaries to protect yourself. – Cynamon Voe Scott, DuploCloud Inc.
9. Don’t get caught up in the gossip
Avoid taking sides and getting involved in gossip and gossip. Instead, focus on finding solutions and building consensus. Communication is key in any organization and essential when navigating internal politics. Communicate openly and honestly. Maintain a positive attitude even when dealing with difficult situations and personalities. Stay focused and professional. – Brandon Butt, Savory
10. Seek advice from experienced employees
It is very important that employees understand the company’s unwritten rules. Every culture has its own do’s and don’ts that drive office politics. Employees need to be friends with someone who can help them stay on the job longer, navigate the environment successfully, understand the relationship and power dynamics within the organization, and get the scoop. – Rohini Shankar , Nations Benefits
11. Prioritize building working relationships that nurture
Regardless of your work model, building positive working relationships is essential. You can develop friendly working relationships that turn into a strong support network as you navigate politics within the office. Personal relationships can be difficult at a distance, but it is possible. Remote work also benefits good performers, as substance is more important than style. – Niki Jorgensen, Insperity
12. Stay positive and focus on your contribution
Intuition is key when navigating office politics. Remember that your best position is to stay positive and focused on your work. Seek guidance from your manager when needed instead of indulging in negative politics. A remote setup makes it a little more difficult to do, but the same rules apply. – Neustar Security Services, Nakisha Griffin
13. Be aware of topic issues
Leaders must ensure that their employees are always demonstrating the company’s core values and be treated with respect no matter the topic or who they speak to. Employees should find areas of agreement and convergence, but they should also watch out for clues that the topic is causing discomfort, and redirect if necessary. If these tactics don’t work, escalate the issue to HR or your manager. – Lisa Shuster, iHire