Sharmini Wainwright is managing director of Michael Page & Page Personnel Hong Kong. With over 13 years’ experience with PageGroup, she oversees specialist recruitment across finance, financial services, sales & marketing, legal and more.
Office politics heating up
A shuffling of accounts has led to our marketing team needing to compete with another marketing division for resources. The head of the other team is well known for playing politics. It's her favourite pastime and she has managed to get rid of some other competing divisions in the past. In fact, rumour is that she was the one that instigated the recent shuffling of accounts and it seems she wants to takeover our division to expand her empire. How can we jockey to remain afloat without her sabotaging us? She is also very close to the big bosses. Do we need to play hardball too?
Sharmini Thomas - Career Doctor
Posted Wednesday 16th October 2013 05:19:00 PM
Ah... the world of office politics! Throughout all stages of your career, it always tends to be fairly easy to spot the instigators of office politics in the workplace. Particularly in the world of sales and marketing where ownership of accounts is critical and relationship based, I understand why the matter is so important to you. Whilst all eyes may be pointed in the direction of the one instigator, sometimes the majority of the office is not privy to additional information that sheds light on the whole scenario and actually provides new information that tells a very different story. That is just the nature of the corporate environment - the bosses of your organisation are choosing to only share a certain amount of information which gives you this perspective. The battle for resources in organisations is currently a very real one and we've been seeing a rise in the demand for contractors as divisions each battle for headcount approval and existing employees to ensure that daily work deliverables are completed on time. The current economic climate has meant that there is less general spend on the whole, hence your organisation would be 'unusual' if they were not allocating resources across the organisation more carefully. You mention 'playing hardball'. It is up to you personally to choose your response to such a situation. Office retaliation however rarely has sustainable benefits. It may cause a high impact moment, however typically this erupts into conflict which is more disruptive than conducive to a high performing office environment. Surely the most productive and highest performing marketing team will win the resources war? Perhaps you put a time limit on yourself of say six months to weather the storm as such and see how the situation unfolds, and use it as an opportunity to focus on your own and your team's performance to ensure that you get noticed in a good way!