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Workplace Politics- What you can do about it

workplace politics

Are you working in an environment riddled with workplace politics? Power struggles and people stepping on each other’s toes to get ahead creates a toxic work environment. Ronald E. Riggio in his book Introduction to Industrial/Organisational Psychology places workplace politics into 2 categories; functional politics and dysfunctional politics. According to Riggio, functional politics involves “behaviors that assist the organisation in attaining its goals” while dysfunctional politics involves “behaviors that inhibit the attainment of organisational goals.”

Dysfunctional politics creates the toxic work environment previously described. Employees who practice dysfunctional politics often make others desire to leave the organisation. Before you begin a job hunt, implement these 5 tips to deal with dysfunctional workplace politics.

Present a Staff Welfare Proposal

Staff welfare is sometimes overlooked by organisations. Company leaders tend to be laser-focused on getting employees to deliver results that they neglect the human element of each employee. Does this sound familiar?

Step up to the plate. Ask your colleagues to sign a proposal requesting the creation of a Staff Welfare Committee. The more support you receive from staff, the more likely it is that your boss’ will listen. This committee would be responsible for hosting fun staff events and providing support to staff members experiencing personal difficulties.

Other features can be added based on your organisation’s unique needs. The aim is to cultivate an environment where all employees feel comfortable.

Don’t be a disheartened

It’s evident that you’re having challenges with your organisation. Going to work has even become a chore. Try and find ways to be part of the solution.

Think about possible solutions to the organisation’s problems.  How can the problems be tackled so that the company can improve? When you’ve created some truly workable solutions, request a meeting with your superiors to discuss them.  Let your voice be heard.

Encourage Transparency and Open Communication

This tip applies if you’re at the managerial level in the organisation. Your team must be able to trust you. Therefore, opportunities must be created for all employees to be clear about what’s happening in the organisation and the goals and objectives that need to be met.   

Nepotism should also be non-existent. Criteria and opportunities for promotion must be clear and accessible to all qualified persons. Everyone in the organisation should have equal opportunities.  Equal opportunities make looking for unscrupulous ways to get ahead nonsensical.

Take Responsibility for Your Own Behavior

There is a popular quote that says, “When you can’t control what’s happening, challenge yourself to control the way you respond to what’s happening. That’s where your power is.”  You may not be able to truly effect change in your organisation.  However, you can take the necessary steps to focus on producing the best results without letting other people affect you.

Prove your worth. Let your work speak for itself. You may not feel that you are getting the recognition you deserve, but that recognition will come when you consistently produce stellar results.

Avoid Co-workers Who Relish Dissonance

The people with whom you interact affect your work environment. People who love conversations that focus on tearing other coworkers down shouldn’t be in your space. Surround yourself with positive, ambitious people who want to make a meaningful contribution to the organisation.


Dysfunctional workplace politics can tear an organisation apart. The choice to be a part of the problem or the solution is yours. Use the tips outlined in this article to truly make a difference at work.


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