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The NIP IT IN THE BUD approach to office POISON

Source | LinkedIn : By Aiyshah Gwilliam

I so often hear people say ‘ahh…office politics is just to be expected’…I so strongly disagree. Office politics starts not from the poisonous person who has a gripe against someone, it starts from the boss not dealing with the situation immediately.

This is I’d say the number one issue as to why a business can be limping its way to success compared to one that is sprinting. Poor office relations can be one of the most disastrous issues a business can deal with.

But there are many facets to this.

1.      The person has a ‘personal’ relationship with the owner and the Senior management’s hands can feel tied.

2.      The person has a gang mentality and is forming a group against the management

3.      The person has not been checked for so long and so any discussion with them will result in only a defensive reaction.

4.      The person is aware of the loopholes in the industrial law and skirts around the edges of it so that they can’t be touched.

All these are very trying and often expensive issues that a company’s senior management have to deal with, unless of course the whole recruitment process is done absolutely to the ‘T’.

The old adage of don’t employ the qualification, employ the attitude, is absolutely spot on. However, someone who has done a great interview can also lapse into lethargy and complacency. So, that first three month’s probation is extremely critical. Sadly very few Senior Management people (unless they have been in HR themselves before this) can fully understand what can happen if you don’t keep people in check from the start.

Having been a teacher has actually held me in good stead for this. When you get a classroom of children on the first day you need to be very tough, as they will try to get you whichever way they can. They’ve just have 2 months of summer-free-reign and now they have to get confined to a routine with the teacher. If you can get them in line and keep them in line, and stick to your rules and regulations and punishments (and rewards!), you can ease off after a month and they class will really respond well to you. If you keep it going for a year, they will eventually revolt on you, and if you don’t start off tough or are not tough at all, they will never be able to be recovered, you’ll just have to spend the year wafting in and out of survival mode on this batch. Any teacher reading this will know what I mean.

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