4 Tips To Improve Office Politics

Image Credit: Google Images

Image Credit: Google Images

Whispers around the water cooler, a side glance down the hall, perhaps a half empty table in the lunch room that oddly becomes full as an employee walks towards it.  Office politics are always present, sometimes buried deep (other times not so much) within the culture of a work force, but at the helm of the ship, what do you do to ensure that your employees are taking the high road rather than having co-workers walk the proverbial plank?  Here are a few ways to keep your office professional, and hopefully, with the right guidance and initiative, politicking free.

  1. Set a standard. A high one.  Make sure that you foster a culture of inclusion and respect in your work place.  Consideration and kindness go a long way, so create an environment where cooperation and humility thrive.
  1. Give opportunities for relationship building activities. Finding activities for employees to partake in that will build a sense of team spirit will often help to diminish a need for people to talk about others.  If bonds are strengthened and respect is cultivated, people will be less likely to talk about those they have relationships with.
  1. Don’t drink from the office cooler. Yes, I said it.  There are times when we often discover a soft spot for our employees, and perhaps, in a moment of weakness, feel compelled to share a tasty tidbit of information about who Joel is dating.    Refrain, refrain, refrain.
  1. Speak up. Being a leader also means having to do some of the dirty work.  If you find that there are certain people on your team that are insistent on undermining the work place atmosphere call them on it.  This is your place of business and you are the one that sets the tone.

Regardless of how your team is comprised, you will most definitely at some point come across office politics.  You will see firsthand how they can damage morale, create tension, and cause an insidious darkness to creep into the office.  Take the lead and don’t let it get out of control.

Learn more from Aaron Parkinson by connecting with him on Facebook, Twitter, and Google+.

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Dressing For Success: Professionalism In The Workplace

Image Credit: Google Images

Image Credit: Google Images

Jeans, runners, slack or loafers?  There are so many choices when it comes to attire at the work place that it isn’t difficult to see why employers can struggle with keeping their employees towing the company line.  Couple that with the heat of the summer, and you may see work place attire change and border on too casual or possibly even witness the much dreaded beach attire make its way into your office.  But how do you get your employees to see office dress as a part of their professionalism? You don’t want to step on too many toes by enforcing a dress code, but on the other hand, you are trying to maintain a level of professionalism, so how do you keep employees on track with the image you are trying to project?

  1. Establish a dress code from the get go.  Making all employees aware upon hire that there is an expectation for a certain kind of dress in the work place will go miles in negating any possible problems early on.  Of course there will be times when you will have to give reminders, but it’s easier than having a lazy dress code to begin with and then having to start from scratch. Keep dress code regulations in high traffic areas to maintain awareness with the changing of seasons.
  1. Act as an example.  It’s really hard for employees to care about what they wear to work when their boss is wearing cargo shorts and Hawaiian print shirts.  If you set a standard of professionalism, it will be easier for your employees to follow suit. You need to be the standard.
  1. Have guidelines for dress that change with the season.  People don’t wear the same types of clothing year round, and to suggest that a certain type of clothing is necessary to ‘complete’ a look is ridiculous.  Gain respect by caring enough to recognize that comfortable employees are productive and happy employees. If everyone is hot and sweaty, it could make for a very caustic environment.

It is important to guide your expectations for employees early on, and the easiest way possible is to set the bar high for yourself as well as making clear expectations on the image you are wanting to project.  Professionalism in the work place is a base line standard that if not kept, can quickly fall to pieces.  So the next time you consider throwing on cargo shorts and a Hawaiian shirt for your day at the office, consider the standard you are setting for those around you.

Learn more from Aaron Parkinson by connecting with him on Facebook, Twitter, and Google+.

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