The business environment in the corporate world is challenging and everyone is burning the midnight oil to survive in it. Employees have to imply various strategies at different levels to attain the objectives set by their organizations. Out of all these strategies, the toughest situation is to deal with those employees who have different temperaments, motivations, exposure and experiences.
Indeed, all employees have to create their own ways to complete their tasks and assignments. Initially, they are not aware of what quagmire is building up against them. Besides hard-work, dedication, devotion and having command over one’s job, one must keep oneself abreast of what ones colleagues’ perception is about him/her.
Further, it is true and proven that highly ambitious people tend to maneuver to gain personal advantages even at the cost of others. They have sit-ins with their peers and juniors, roam around with them, and vow to work with esprit de corps to achieve the goals of organizations; however, in reality, they are only retrieving the weak points of their peers so that they can build intrigue against them making it as a base. It will not be wrong to accept that office politics is itself a part and parcel of organizations’ culture because all departments and divisions of organizations expose its culture.
One of my friends who after graduating joined the law firm in Lahore. He used to sit beside an office superintendent who along with him had to report to the administration manager. Being an expert in Law, he used to spend his prime time in courts and liaising with the company’s external lawyer whereas the office superintendent used to visit the administration manager’s office more often than not on various pretexts.
Obviously, having plenty of experience working in the government, the office superintendent knew the techniques to spoil the Image the administration manager had of his colleagues and the staff. For him, my friend was an easy prey. My friend came to know about him after completing his probationary period when the office superintendent got him the letter from the administration manager’s office extending his probationary period for the next three months on account of his unsatisfactory performance. Even the office superintendent wanted him to sign it without even reading it.
His first exposure to his government job was so astonishing that he did not tell about it to his parents and rather continued working in the firm for next three years. This tiresome period gave him enough confidence and experience that he soon got a job in an American based firm in Sindh. In that company all of the employees would live in an employees’ residential colony which was approximately 1 kilometer far away from the plant. All staff whether of the management and non-management were recruited via tough and the back-breaking screening process. Employees who were hired were from Karachi, Lahore, Quetta and Peshawar.
It was the departmental heads and senior management staff of the company who would discuss with one another about the annual performance of the employees. The assessed the performance of all the employees and then ascertain themselves for the final rating. They would also highlight those employees who had splendidly outstanding potential. Such employees made up 10 percent of the total number of employees and would be known to everyone.
As all employees lived in the residential estates, so the preferential treatment the higher management would give to the high-potential employees was highly disappointed and degenerated for all other management staff. It also badly affected their performance which resulted in the loss of their jobs as well.
Subsequently, seeing this unjust he left the company and then joined a British multinational company whose plant was installed in Sheikhupura. The company had other two pants in Punjab as well. Most of the senior employees in the company belonged to the influential families of Lahore and thus were given special perks, salaries and other benefits.
However, the company’s personnel department was centralized and located in Karachi. And, the head of the personnel department was the man of dignity and believed in the institution of meritocracy implied equality in giving all compensation. His this justice-for-all philosophy greatly annoyed the senior management who started considering him as an apple of discord. They used to criticize him amongst each other, but no one ever dared to express his grief in front of him whenever he would visit the plant. My friend realized that one of the reasons of their assertions was to affirm their counterparts in other plants of the factory that they had an immense control over their staff.
Thus, it can be analyzed from above depiction of office politics that having command over one’s job is not enough to succeed in career. One has to be weary of the employees’ perception which can cause one harm in multiple ways.
Saqib Khan Yusuf Zai
Lecturer & Professional Trainer and Management Consultant