5 WAYS TO Stem Politics at the Workplace

workplace politics, due to various reasons including gender bias, jealousy and conflicting ambitions, can not only hamper an employee’s performance but also affect the team fabric. Hence it is crucial for team leaders to handle such situations deftly. Rica Bhattacharyya finds out how they can do so.
1 Keep the Structure Lean “Bureaucracy adds to the competitive and negative environment. Lean structures, on the other hand, reduce the chances of such situations,” says Sudhir Dhar, senior VP & head — HR, Motilal Oswal Financial Services.
2 Create Open Forums Dhar gathers his team at the start of each week to discuss the action plan. Each team member is given an equal chance to communicate, and all other members are aware of the required information about his work. “Open communication channels like these can shun the opportunity of politics within teams,” he says. The leader must also ensure that all team members get the same communication at the same time, says Abhishek Kumar, assistant professor at BIM Trichy.
3 Resolve it Immediately
If a leader sees even a hint of politics at the
workplace, he or she should deal with it immediately. “Confrontation meetings, counselling and mediation can prevent major damage at the workplace,” says Dhar. However,
Kumar says, “A leader should never get directly involved in any such situation as this means becoming a party and therefore, getting targeted as well.”
4 Depend on Informal Networks A leader should have first-hand knowledge of such through his or her internal networks. “Building relationships within the team and cross-functionally helps in building this informal network, which can keep you updated and ultimately help in knowing about workplace politics,” says Dhar.
5 Maintain Openness It is the responsibility of the leader to maintain and encourage an open and transparent culture at the workplace so that such situations can be best avoided or nipped in the bud. “If enough transparency is maintained when any team member is appreciated or criticised, an open culture develops throughout the organization. This will leave no scope for biases or gossip,” says Dhar.

Source :The Economics Times.
Date : 07/06/2013

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