Is kissing up to your boss a must if you want to get ahead? Actually, this depends wholly upon the organization and its culture. Are the workers expected to fall into line and conform or are the workers viewed as separate personalities that form a whole? As a front line supervisor, I never encourage or allow a butt kisser to infect my workplace. The ramifications are too dangerous to the over all morale of my workers. I do not agree that kissing up is a must to move ahead; however, I do recognize the fact that this personality type will always exist. While every organization will have its fair share of the kiss ups, the actual reasoning behind the worker's attitudes will chiefly fall into the front line supervisor's hands.
If the workers are expected to toe the line, conform and know their respective places, it could be reasonably expected for a vast number of these workers to kiss up in order to move ahead of the pack. These workers will feel that their environment places them into such a position that they must kiss their boss' rear in order to move ahead. For example, within a company that views all workers as equals, there will be a great many butt kissers attempting to separate themselves from the pack. If these people were largely ignored or padded along due to their kissing attitude, they have received the incorrect signal from their supervisor. It is the supervisor's job to maintain morale within his or her area. In some cases the butt kisser's co-workers will simply laugh the person off, make fun of them, etc.; however, if the butt kisser is promoted, heads will be turned. As the supervisor, if you have allowed a butt kisser to establish themselves above the other workers, get ready because their attention will now turn towards your position. In other words, would you want to promote a kiss up to a position that will enable them to take your job? Even if you are expecting a promotion and are looking for a replacement, it is never a good idea to allow a butt kisser to infect your workplace.
Are your employees valued for their diverse, separate personalities that form the whole that is your company? If the answer is yes, then in my experiences, the total amount of kiss ups will be reduced. Sure, they will still exist; however, not in the volume as in the previous example. In this scenario, the workers are revered by the company for being diverse. A solid company will recognize their workers' abilities and reward them accordingly. Once again, it is up to the butt kisser's supervisor to ensure that the workplace is not affected by one person's attitude. If the butt kisser is allowed to run rampant due to being ignored or even worse, encouraged, again the workplace could easily erupt. As the front line supervisor, prevent this situation from arising.
It does not matter where you work, there will be butt kissers present at one point. It is that person's supervisor that must nip the brown nosing attitude in the bud. While many employees will simply laugh the butt kisser off, if the kisser is promoted, expect a workplace eruption. If the supervisor uses prevention in the first place, many heart aches can be prevented.