Politics and power in the workplace is believed by many to be a game that corporate and management plays. Games usually have rules to follow, a referee or judge, and an ending with a winner, however. Although politics has a winner, this game never ends, the rules are always subject to change, and there is no referee or unbiased spokesperson. Corporate traditions sometimes become culture and establish much of the biased game of politics that is played within the organization.
Unfortunately, politics and power is a game that most employees in an organization must learn how to play in order to progress to higher levels. Political behaviors are activities that are not required as part of an employees’ formal role in the organization. These behaviors influence, or attempt to influence the distribution of advantages or disadvantages within the organization. As long as people are involved, politics will always be a part of an organization. Politics decrease job satisfaction, increase turnover and reduce productivity in the workforce.
Depending on the employee’s decision to play the game, politics can assist or harm them. Some things are accomplished by following organizational procedures, while other things are accomplished politically. Once employees recognize and accept that politics are everywhere and they do not place judgment on them, employees can begin to work with them to advance their career (Grimm, 2004). I have 10 years of experience with this. Since I joined the Indiana Army National Guard I have been an “outsider” and refused to play politics.
With an impeccable military record, numerous awards, and vast education I have remained at the same rank while others who are less distinguished, experienced or talented have been promoted. Organizational politics can cause problems for individuals who work together. Employees and managers who must concentrate on the political aspects of work may have less time to pay attention to their jobs. The result can be a financial loss for the company and even possible loss of jobs. Organizational politics allow some people to be rewarded for behavior unrelated to doing their job.
Political decisions encourage hypocrisy, secrecy, deal-making, rumors, self-interest, self-promotion, this is not a receipt for effective teamwork in the workplace (Graham, 2006). When dealing with company politics employees should know the rules, cultivate a positive image, and keep employers perspective in mind (McKay, 2006). Like it or not, the political game is played everywhere, whether it is during a conversation at work, at home, at school, or event at the grocery store. Employees need to learn not to judge the game, but rather just play along (Grimm, 2004).
Based on my career thus far I will have to abide by this concept in order to take care of my future employees. References Graham, G. , (2006). Eliminate office politics and end many problems in companies. Retrieved February 6, 2011, from http://www. career/planning. about. com/ed/workplacesurvival/a/politics. htm Grimm, J. (2004). Newsroom Politics: Turf and cracks; noses and toes. Retrieved February 6, 2011, from http://www. freep. com/legacy/jobspage/toolkit/politics. htm McKay, D. , (2006). Office Politics. Retrieved February 6, 2011, from www. careerplanning. about. com/ed/workplacesurvival/a/politics. htm.