53% of workers think playing workplace politics could get them promoted
- Bridge by Instructure, Inc., a talent management software provider, released study results showing that unspoken expectations pressure workers to act in unproductive ways to get ahead, from playing office politics (53%) to feigning interest in a supervisor's "dumb story" (43%). The firm polled more than 1,000 office employees.
- Researchers concluded that unwritten expectations feed employee burnout. One-third of respondents said their employer doesn't encourage them to take paid time off and many said they manage their own stress by watching non-work-related videos online, a habit that the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics says costs employers $8,800 per employee each year.
- Although employees feel compelled to "go along to move ahead," 25% meet one-on-one with their managers twice a year or less, and 16% stretched the truth on performance reviews because they thought their bosses wouldn't notice.
The "go along to get along" syndrome is still alive in the workplace. Employers need to ensure that workers have a clear picture of its expectations and understand what steps they can take to advance at work. They need to understand that working excessive hours, playing politics and lying on performance evaluations aren't the way to a promotion.
In addition to providing clear expectations, employers also can encourage workers to take sufficient time off to regroup from stress and "unplug" from the workplace. Excessive pressure, whether caused by unwritten expectations or company culture, can cause employers to lose top performers, negating the whole purpose of development and promotions.