Office politics is denoted by the way the power is shared among people in the organization or workplace. Actions and behaviour involving competition for status or power in a workplace. Office politics is about the interplay of power dynamics and human relationships, and how those interactions form a culture. You can have a great company culture but still have politics. While many of us would rather avoid office politics or pretend it’s not necessary to understand them, the reality is that we can’t — and if you ignore them, you could end up left behind.
Dealing with office politics can be really stressful, especially if you feel like a target. Although workplace politics are inevitable, they can be overcome with proper leadership and influence.
Effects of politics on organization and employees:
1. Organizational change: Failure to effectively motivate your people through periods of organizational change can lead to turmoil within your organization. This often breeds complex office politics, as any misalignment provides plenty of opportunities for your people to gain advantages. This pursuit of politics will only end when your organization settles and reorganizes. Fear and insecurity are the biggest drivers of negative political behaviors.
2. Scarce resource: Scarce resource has the pursuit of maximum sharing of resources, it deals with negativity. Even though the enterprise provides a proper source for work, the employees will gossip about the organization and its related demand, supply, and resource allocation. Humans crave a feeling of being needed, included, validated, and having power and a purpose. If there are scarce resources in an organization, this breeds competition, which often leads to office politics. People often experience fear and insecurity when those feelings are at risk. When reorganization is done the political behavior may change that involves certain circumstances.
3. Demotivate employees: A non performer can be the apple of his boss’s eye simply due to politics, thus demotivating the performers. Politics changes the attitude of the employees. Internal politics do not allow employees to give their hundred percent at work. Employees feel demotivated when they are not rewarded suitably or someone who has not worked hard gets the benefits due to mere politics.
4. Competitive work environments: Competitive working environments encourage people to focus on “winning at any cost”. This often instils a strong desire to succeed in everyone. When workers are under pressure to succeed then office politics will generally be widespread.
5. Trust issues: People who play office politics are unaware of their achievements and abilities. Office politics is a common fact in each organization. When someone becomes known for using office politics and builds a reputation as a manipulator or gossiper– then understandably the rest of the team won’t trust them. This is harmful to both the success of the individual and the company
6. Decrease in overall productivity: Common observation says that individuals who play politics at the workplace pay less attention to their work. Politics lowers the output of an individual and eventually affects the productivity of the organization. Personal relationships among employees can create disruption. Politics arise when individuals set out to support their friends within your organisation.
7. Increases stress levels: Politics increases the stress level of the employees. Individuals are not machines who can work continuously for 8-9 hours without talking to others. It is important to have friends at the workplace who help you when needed. Some individuals find it difficult to confide in their colleagues; as they fear that it may go further and things could get leaked. Moreover, if a secret is kept then the individual who kept it will have a spike in stress levels if the secret is revealed from another source.
Members had explained that bullying is assigning unmanageable workloads that damaged mental and physical health, giving confusing deadlines, and assigning low-level work below their competence standards.
However, we must be aware of office politics’ destructive aspects to minimize their negative effects. We must learn how to navigate our way through the organization’s particular political landscape. To avoid these potential consequences, it is important to quickly identify political behavior and fairly enforce disciplinary action as needed.