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How to Fight Against Workplace Favoritism

Employee recognition is an important aspect of office life. In general, people like it when their supervisors show appreciation for their hard work and dedication. This recognition can take the form of a chintzy coffee mug, corporate vacations, or monetary incentives for a job done well. Ideally, upper management is supposed to only hand these rewards to employees who have earned them with their efforts and loyalty to the company.

But sometimes things like, the cushiest office or the nicest parking spot, go to coworkers who have done nothing to earn them. Nothing, that is, except being liked by their bosses. But before claiming that this is the situation, it’s important to ascertain if its workplace favoritism.

The “Perks” of Being a Brown-Noser

Workplace favoritism can have a huge negative impact on employee morale and overall performance. When bosses play favorites with their subordinates, it can stir resentment in employees who’ve given their best. This can also lead to management overlooking others who have a lot of potential, which in turn leads to employee desertion. This situation may also cause headaches and cases for the human resource department to sort through.

Although human resources can use ServiceNow to help manage cases, dealing with workplace favoritism requires properly identifying it. If any of the following occurs regularly in the workplace, someone may be playing favorites with the workers.

  • Someone keeps getting all the perks. If the boss repeatedly gives gifts, like concert tickets or overseas vacations, to a single person or a select number of people, this may be a sign that they’re the apple of someone’s eye.
  • All the great projects go to one person. Sometimes this can be justified if that person is the best one to deal with the project. However, if they’re the only ones to get the projects and no one else gets the chance to try out their skills, there may be chicanery afoot. This kind of favoritism can affect the company even more if the person in charge of the projects has no qualifications to do so except their status as favorite.
  • They’re given free rein over their work. One of the most telling signs of favoritism is a lack of scrutiny over someone’s work. If they’re not getting criticism for any flaws in their work while everyone else is under a microscope, they are more than likely the supervisor’s crony.

If these things keep happening around the office, it’s time to do something about it.

Addressing Workplace Favoritism

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It’s important that everyone keeps a cool head when dealing with favoritism. It could all be a misunderstanding or an honest mistake. Employees should remember the following when they attempt to address the issue.

  • Turn to Human Resources. Reaching out to Human Resources is one of the most professional ways to deal with the issue. Since their purpose is to mediate and oversee employee relations, they have the best training and authority to deal with it directly.
  • Bring the issue to light. If someone suspects that workplace favoritism is happening, they should tactfully and diplomatically bring it up with the people involved. Talking about the problem can prevent a lot of resentment down the road. Once people know how to address the issue, employees should keep it in the spotlight until the matter is resolved.
  • Keep doing their best. Nothing says professionalism better than making sure that, regardless of anyone’s preferences; the employees will keep working hard.

The workplace shouldn’t be a place where likability is the major criterion of worth. Although charisma and camaraderie have their place in the office, merit and capability should take center stage every time.

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