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Favoritism is a Fast Track to Employee Resentment

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If there is anything that all employees can usually agree upon, it is that favoritism drives them all crazy. It is easy to explain this resentment toward favoritism, since it makes every person – no how dedicated to their work they may happen to be – feel as though no matter how hard they work, it doesn’t matter. Instead of thinking that you can work hard until you make your way to the top, favoritism says that it’s all who you know, not what you do.

Therefore, it follows that a workplace that allows favoritism will also be victim to decreased moral, which leads to decreased productivity, as employees each develop a “why bother” way of thinking.

Even if favoritism resides only within a single person, or a small group of people, it has the same impact as if the company’s entire human resources program was based on favoritism as a mission. For this reason, it is extremely important for management to keep on top of the situation so that any favoritism can be quickly detected and resolved before it gets out of hand. To accomplish this, a very attentive management group must be willing to carefully go over every element of the existing employee development policies and procedures.

If you are wondering if your company may be a victim of favoritism, there are a few questions that you need to ask yourself. If you answer “yes” to any of the following questions, then you should consider taking further steps toward the management of favoritism in your workplace.

Is it possible for an employee to “fast track” their way into a promotion, either unofficially, or through an actual fast tracking program?

Does anything happen “behind closed doors” regarding the identification of employees for different development programs?

If there are two employees with the same abilities and job performance level, except that one is in a fast track program, and the other is not, will the fast track employee be promoted first?

  • No matter the job performance, have there ever been employees who have been identified as not being candidates for promotion?
  • Are any of the employees within the employee development program provided with better or more interesting tasks than others, even if there are other employees who would be better qualified to complete these tasks?

Answering “yes” to any one of these questions could bring up a red flag in your mind. However, if you have answered “yes” to two or more of these questions, then you should seriously consider an in depth analysis of the ways in which your business functions, as you are running the risk of frustrating your employees, and not being able to reach your full potential. Frustrated and unhappy employees are one of the fastest paths to business failure. Just the same, removing favoritism from your business is one of the best ways to make your employees feel valuable, and encourage them to work their best.

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