It is the blight of almost every workplace up and down the country – office politics.
Conflicting employees, unwarranted promotions, unequal treatment – all these issues and more threaten to derail business productivity.
And according to Peter Freeth from Revelation Consulting, the consequences can be even more severe for companies and organisations.
In his view, office politics directly contribute to staff attrition, as worn-down employees decide enough is enough and move on to pastures new.
“Office politics increases absenteeism and staff turnover because it creates a working environment that many people find unbearable,” Mr Freeth stated.
“A company itself is affected when promotions are given based on politics rather than merit or ability – and when the company suffers, all staff are affected.”
He said that productivity is definitely impacted, because victims quickly lose motivation and withdraw their initiative and enthusiasm to do more than their job requires.
“In effect, their performance drops to the minimum required to perform the most basic tasks of their job,” Mr Freeth added.
He suggested that many employees are tolerating office politics because of the difficult economic climate – essentially they are afraid to lose their jobs.
But as the economic climate improves and more jobs become available, some employers could find themselves in a vulnerable position.
If dispirited workers are able to find new jobs, there is a good chance they may seek to move on to pastures new.
Mr Freeth said employees should not be afraid to air concerns about office politics, as bottling up their true feelings can only make things worse.
“It’s never too late to speak up and the right people will always understand why you didn’t speak up sooner,” he commented.