Weeding out Office Politics

Shawnee Love   •  
October 30, 2012

As discussed over the last few weeks, the themes running through office politics are:

  • Negative repercussions on others,
  • Back room skulking,
  • People choosing sides,
  • Blame or
  • Lack of accountability (which I affectionately call “Head ducking”).

Now that you can recognize it, what are you going to do about it because ignoring it or putting up with it are not sustainable options.

To get rid of office politics, you need a 4 pronged approach:

  1. Communicate: Let everyone know in clear and concise terms that office politics are no longer acceptable effective immediately.
  2. Observe: Whenever you see someone committing office politics, ask to speak with her privately and let her know she has one more chance.  If you catch her again, you will fire her.
  3. Act: Fire anyone you catch politicking after being warned, no matter how much severance you owe and no matter who the person is or how valuable that person is to your business.  There can be no sacred cows.
  4. Model: Be the champion and leader for how to act and interact in a way that is fair, honest, consistent and transparent (i.e., the opposite of office politics)

Finally, be patient.  Any change takes time, especially one that is woven into the fiber of how your people work.  Good luck and let me know how it goes.