Politics in The Workplace. How CEOs and HRs​ Sabotage Their Own Company’s Efforts

ABIODUN AJALA
3 min readFeb 1, 2024

In the Devil Dictionary, The Journalist Ambrose Bierce defines politics as a strife of interest masquerading as a contest of principles. The conducting of public affairs for personal advantage. To call people politicians or charge them for playing politics on an issue is a serious insult. Politics is also according to what Ralph Waldo Emerson once said; “The greatest service and science of mankind”

This is the time in the history of work where those who work in the Human Resource Department are manipulating their workforce rather than managing them. People are resigning from companies due to the high level of politics. Politics that make the workplace toxic.

Nobody checks the activities of the HR and Unit Head. It has also come to the level where the Informal group is prevailing over the formal group. A formal Organization is a legitimate organization. Informal Organizations arise spontaneously as people continue to interact with one another.

The amazing thing about those who own power in modern-day business is that; some of them came from the biological or natural sciences. Many do not even have a background in social sciences. Many are not grace in the act of management. Management happens to them by chance and not by choice. They did not even have an academic background in this noble field. So they abuse management and business.

Inferiority on the part of today’s managers makes them go for the shortcut of practicing hatred over the love of management. You see principles are different from techniques. You don’t use techniques on people you manage. If they find out that you are using techniques on them; the way they would feel about you would change and they would not forgive you for a definite time to come.

Human Resource Staff should note that people are not objects. Treat people like humans.

Politics works well in many start-up firms and it has affected both the internal and external image of multinationals. How many of our companies can compete with Fortune 500? We are busy more with manipulating our most important assets rather than investing in them.

It is through company politics that we use people who are less qualified for a particular job role to head a unit. Economics is a good course. But I can bet you that the man who maneuvers his way to be in a Commercial Role would not take your company to the top as regards market share. Simply because he read Economics. How do you expect someone who reads the Laboratory Science to change system of things in your organization?

Management was built on the premise of trust and not to abuse people. Henri Fayol 1841–1925 and Frederick Winslow Taylor 1856–1915 both had a good plan about the way work needed to be done. FW Taylor was the first man in history who looked at work and studied it. Many of the managers we have would never know these.

The fault of Managing Directors and Chief Executive Officers lies in the fact that they allow the informal groups to flourish or thrive in their organization. They do not go down to see staff at the different levels. They relied solely on ordinary communication which entails lies and false accusations. So many people have been sacked or dismissed in Nigerian organizations without solid evidence.

As a business writer and marketing analyst, I can tell you that whatever you do to your staff will be known to outsiders. These outsiders are still part of your client base. You might be making sales simply because there is no healthy competition. Our Government gave room for them. People you use are not forgiving you. Things change. Your business might be overtaken. Treat others the way you want to be treated. Play politics with caution.

It would be difficult to see companies with heavy politics succeeding in the marketplace. We should be more concerned about revenue making and less concerned with politics.

Thank you for reading.

See you some other time. Please share!

Originally published at https://www.linkedin.com.

--

--