Favoritism at work should be avoided; it is counterproductive and often leads to a toxic workplace. But, unfortunately, it occurs more often than people would believe. It is often easy to employers to gravitate toward and reward those individuals they feel connected to or like.
Favoritism at work can be hugely detrimental to the morale and productivity of the workplace. It results in one employee benefiting from favoritism but other team members suffering and feeling slighted, resentful, and complacent.
A successful workplace team should be diverse; made up of unique individuals who bring altering viewpoints, distinctive strengths, and new ideas to the company. Recognized success within a workplace team should be based on performance and job contributions; not on favoritism or flattery.
If you believe that favoritism is occurring at your workplace, then the following tips may help you navigate the quagmire of favoritism…
Stop to Reflect
Before you do anything, stop and ask yourself some tough questions:
- Am I really a victim of favoritism or simply “feeling” like the victim?
- Is the person being favored doing a better job than I am?
Depending upon your self-reflection, you may determine that it is simply time to ramp up your performance so that you are performing equal to or better than the person you feel is being favored.
Keep Working Hard
Maintain your professionalism and work ethic. Just because someone else is receiving favoritism should not affect your performance or professionalism.
Try to Understand Why
Is there a “human nature” explanation for the favoritism: Are they friends or in a relationship? Do they share a common history or experience? Understanding why may help you determine whether it is fair or unfair favoritism.
If you suspect favoritism, remain positive and proactive. Allowing it to affect your performance or morale will only create a downward spiral. Remember that it is typically not the employee’s fault that he or she receives special treatment. They often want to want to be team players and are embarrassed by the extra attention. Your positive and professional attitude can help the team recover and move forward from an unfortunate situation.
If the situation has disintegrated and hinders productivity, then look for help. Seek out Human Resources. It is part of their job and their experience may lead to a solution that is less confrontational and more productive for the team.
If you believe you are a victim of favoritism at work and have exhausted all of your options, then we can help.