There are three areas that create the most drama in the workplace and are the biggest root causes of unproductive workplace practices. Focusing on each of these three challenge areas will allow your company to grow in a more dynamic and fruitful way. These three areas are office politics, corporate culture, and technology. Some would say that these are the three elements that can make or break your company. Let’s look at each of them to see how they can cause problems, and the best ways to take charge of them.
Although nobody likes office politics, it’s been going on since the dawn of modern working life. There’s always been that tension of constantly needing to please someone in order to get the work done. Employees simply want to do their jobs without having to be bribed or blackmailed. It’s a key piece to having a successful workplace.
Office politics can weigh down your corporate culture and destroy productivity in the office. In order to get control over office politics, you need to create a system of accountability that will limit the power it has in your workplace. Office politics play into how your company culture is viewed, and can ultimately destroy your ability to hire top talent. Letting office politics do this to your workplace is one of the three biggest mistakes you can make.
We’ve all seen the lists out there that rate companies on how good their culture is, and noticed the effect that it has on their hiring practices. And those companies that don’t necessarily care about their employees or culture may notice a big gap in the talent they’re attracting. Company culture not only helps with retention, but it makes recruiters’ jobs easier.
Take companies like Google, Apple, or Facebook. Everyone wants to work for these companies because their company culture is well-known to be fantastic. They get millions of applications a year, and only a minuscule percentage of the people who apply actually get jobs. This is in large part due to their company culture, since it dictates how potential candidates view these companies and whether they want to work for them. When a company’s culture goes wrong, recruiters not only have a hard time recruiting top talent but old and new employees won’t stay long because of the atmosphere and how they are treated.
The third biggest mistake that companies can make in the workplace is having insufficient technology. Technology is what makes a company work, and it’s ultimately what attracts and keeps customers. For instance, when a customer calls in with a specific problem and your company has the technology available to fix it, you’ll be able to solve their issues much more efficiently. On the flip side, in order for employees to do their job well, it’s important to have the right technology, whether in the form of the tools they need to do their job properly or the proper infrastructure in place to support simple day-to-day tasks (a secure Internet connection, solid product database, etc.)
Understanding how to manage these three areas and avoid making these mistakes will enable your company to be much more successful. When these three pieces of the workplace puzzle are put together, they make everything else fall into place.
Jessica Miller-Merrell, SPHR, is an author, speaker, Human Resources professional, and workplace social media expert who has a passion for recruiting, training, and all things social media. She is the president and CEO of Xceptional HR, and a leader in the HR community with more than 12 years of industry experience. The author of Tweet This! Twitter for Business, Jessica was named by HR Examiner as the second most influential recruiter on the Internet and the seventh most powerful woman on Twitter. She is a columnist for both SmartBrief and The Huffington Post, in addition to Blogging4Jobs and Human Resources One on One. Jessica has been interviewed for professional articles in CIO Magazine, Entrepreneur Magazine, SHRM’s HR Magazine, and on CBS. Jessica earned a Senior Professional in Human Resources designation in 2008, and holds a bachelor’s degree in Anthropology and Business from Kansas State University. Originally from a small town in Kansas, Jessica currently lives near Oklahoma City with her husband, Greg and daughter, Ryleigh.