You often hear about favouritism occurring in the classrooms and families, but how about the workplace? According to July’s Connection poll, more than 39% percent of you admitted to being guilty of favouritism in the workplace. Favouring an employee for their hard work and for being good at his/her job may seem harmless, but it could mean that deserving employees are ignored, weakening employee morale and increasing your vulnerability to discrimination claims.
Research by Peninsula has found that favouritism is very common in the workplace, with 74% of female employees having suffered some type of discrimination at work. Also, 86% of female employees felt that favouritism towards male colleagues was commonplace.
How will this affecting your employees?
Employees who are ‘onlookers’ to favouritism may feel undervalued, angry and as if they are being unfairly treated.
Consider the feelings of the ‘office angel’ who might feel that being teacher's pet is damaging the working relationship with their colleagues. Well-deserved promotions and praise for hard work might also go unnoticed by colleagues who say ‘it’s because you’re the boss’s favourite’.
Some ‘office angels’ might go the extra mile to outperform their colleagues. Mistakes might be concealed, or blame placed on other colleagues, just so that the preferential treatment can be kept.
Such situations will most likely lead to a stifling work environment; distrust and lack of creativity will be witnessed. Members of favourite groups (also known as the in-group) will come to despise the out-group for their suggested “lack of abilities”, whilst the out-group will despise the in-group for being favoured and will lose self-esteem.
Promoting a fair working environment - Some easy steps:
- Don’t overly praise in public: maybe save it for reviews
- Don’t judge too quickly: employees who are of a reserved nature may not openly speak about their work successes and hurdles, so it’s up to supervisors and managers to pay attention. It’s worth arranging a weekly team update where all employees have a chance to speak about their work progress
- One rule for all: be clear about your disciplinary procedure and apply it consistently
- Distribute new projects fairly: give everyone has an opportunity to shine
- Team updates: provide updates in a clear and concise manner to the whole team together
- Introduce performance management: develop your own competency framework and identify where the skills and weaknesses lie in your teams. This will help you organise fair awards and also will help you find out where training requirements exist. To find out about Ceridian's Performance Management service, send us an email or contact us on 0800 0482 737.