Most of us are no stranger to the tension and discomfort that can arise from politics in the workplace. Don’t feel trapped. There are a few things you can do.
In an economy booming with over abundance and over inflation, no one is a stranger to unease in the workplace. If increasing consumer demand and high employee turnover isn’t already enough cause for stress at work, add politics to the growing list.
Considering the leaps and bounds society has made regarding human rights and equality, one may wonder why so many people do not feel comfortable in their work environment. There are a few common responses to this, one of them being as classic and simple as the days of high school. Cliques.
Though most of us would be loathe to admit it, the way in which we conduct ourselves in the professional world is often lacking just that. Professionalism. Anyone can find themselves at the mercy of a clique or tight knit office group. Often it is the newcomer or the employee with exceptional skills that become the target for clique discrimination. Exclusion from social circles, rumors and gossip are just a few of the many things people can become subjected to when the victim of workplace drama. When we are trying to hurt one another at work, it isn’t just politics anymore. It’s outright juvenile dramatics.
Often the employer is unaware of the unfair treatment taking place within his or her company which leads one to ask, why not? Employers need to donate as much time to the personal goings on among employees as they do to money making. The majority of employees will keep silent rather than go to the boss with complaints of clique conflict out of fear for their job or even perhaps their safety. A common recommendation for people finding themselves in similar situations is nothing we haven’t heard before. “Turn the other cheek” or “kill them with kindness” are both methods requiring great patience and self restraint but are often effective in undoing even the hardest of people.
Not only are cliques a viable problem for fellow employees but discrimination because of employer favoritism is also still well entrenched in the business world. Worse than the boss being uninformed and uninvolved is when the boss him or herself is at the center of the issue. The most obvious and common example of an employer playing favorites among the staff is the classic case of the boss’s own family being the favored persons. Many employees find themselves backed into a corner where they feel their hands are tied because any dispute with employer family members could result in termination. Though this is illegal, it most certainly is happening.