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Favoritism is exactly what it sounds like: For instance, a manager consistently offers an employee the best and most highly-regarded projects, even though that employee does not perform well enough to deserve them.
Or perhaps an employee is offered a promotion over someone else who has been at the company longer and has more experience. Oftentimes, favoritism occurs when a manager and an employee have developed a friendship beyond the workplace. Perhaps they worked together previously and have a shared history, or maybe they have bonded over common outside interests, like sports or music.
Another form of favoritism is nepotism. When either favoritism or nepotism takes place in the workplace, the effect is usually the same. It leads to a number of negative results, such as: When employees perceive that there is favoritism in how they are treated by management, a sense of unfairness creeps in.
What then follows is resentment towards the manager who is unfairly favoring an employee who may not be the most deserving, as well as towards the favored employee who is taking advantage of the situation.
When a manager continually favors one or a few employees over the others, he or she may be missing out on the talents and skills the others bring to the table. This can lead to promoting someone who is not ready for more responsibilities over someone who is ready and able to take on a challenge.
With a decline in morale, growing resentment, and overlooked potential, a manager who unfairly favors one employee is also hurting the company overall by stunting the growth that would come from moving the best employees forward to management positions. This also is a consequence of losing employees who may have been of great value.
Last but certainly not least, the practice of favoritism may lead to legal action if an employee feels that he or she was discriminated against or was forced to work in a hostile environment. Now that you know how damaging favoritism and nepotism can be to your employees and your company, your next step is to recognize it and deal with it when it occurs.
At its very core, favoritism is unprofessional behavior. A first step to avoiding it is to foster and promote professionalism in your organization.
They say the best offense is a good defense. Defend your company from potential favoritism by creating a professional environment that actively discourages any kind of unfair treatment.
Educating and informing managers and employees alike is another way to help avoid favoritism in your workplace.
If you discover that favoritism is taking place in your company, the most important thing is to make sure it stops.
It can be a very delicate situation, to be sure, but the damage it poses is much too great to be ignored. Gather the facts and get to the bottom of it.
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Not every negative listed below is true of every part-time job, but being aware of the downsides can help you avoid them.