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Is your office’s politics impacting employee engagement?

September 3, 2018 / James Hughes

Every organization has their own internal brand of politics, driven by their unique culture, staff, and history. Sure, while employees might not be shaking hands and kissing babies trying to garner supports and votes, there is definitely a political element to many decisions made from hiring to promotions, project assignments and who gets what office supplies. But in the modern working world, with such a heavy focus on employee engagement, how are these office political battles impacting employees?



Jain & Ansari (2018) studied the impact of office politics on employee engagement, as well as attempted to determine how different personality traits mediate the impact. They found that over time, employees who considered themselves victims of their office’s politics would often become resentful of the organization, disengage from their work, and even bring down the employees around them. However, personality differences were significant in mediating these issues. Using the OCEAN model of personality, they found that employees high on “conscientiousness” were less impacted, while employees high on “neuroticism” were not only negatively impacted, but more likely to negative impact those around them.


What this means for managers:


Office politics are unavoidable, but hiring employees well adapted to handle them successfully is a solid option for managers working on engagement. Jain & Ansari recommended screening potential application on their personality to ensure they would mesh with their new environment, with a focus on hiring high conscientiousness candidates and avoiding high neuroticism candidates.


Thanks for reading,

James Hughes


Reference:

Jain, L., & Ansari, A. A. (2018). EFFECT OF PERCEPTION OF ORGANIZATIONAL POLITICS ON EMPLOYEE ENGAGEMENT WITH PERSONALITY TRAITS AS MODERATING FACTORS. South East Asian Journal Of Management, 12, 85-104.

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