You may not have been directly involved with a situation of favoritism at work but you have definitely witnessed it. We all have had that one really, really bad boss! The one we wondered how in the world they got their management position. The one manager who probably has in-depth industry knowledge but just doesn’t have great managing skills or perhaps favoritism may have favored them!
For all of you nodding your head thinking, no it doesn’t exist since you’ve been sitting at a better place thus far, never lived a situation as such or are currently tangled in a act of favoritism yourself, let me be very clear, it’s a very bad management practice!
Favoritism can take place because of many conditions at work. It can happen if a friendship starts to form between your co-worker and the boss. Other than work they find another interest(s) to bond over, music, sports etc. They go on lunches, coffees, smoke, drink, but you are always left out! Not only left out the social aspect of things, but also from well deserved and earned work, projects, deals, promotions, bonus, recommendations, training etc..
Favoritism can also be because the company wants to hold on to Top Performers. These Peak Performers then receive preferential treatment and what happens to the juniors? Well, who cares right?! Top Performers equal more sales correct? Also, equals increase in turn over rate! Nepotism, is also favoritism. This is when the boss hands over a position you wanted to their favorite new intern cousin and pushes their blood line and family forward. Sexual harrasement is a part of favoritism as well; this is when someone perform sexual favors to receive a position, promotion, special treatment etc. (this is where you speak to the HR).
What to do?
Use your judgement! Sometimes we fail to form a connection with our colleagues. Therefore, we think they are being favored while it’s not the case. These coworkers may have high performance level than you and are giving you a tough competition for the opportunities you both want. However, if you really feel you are in a toxic work environment then take notes! Yes, take notes of what, when, why and where you feel your Manager is wrong. Behave normal and don’t react. Keep your emotions in check! Improve your skills and self promote, be prompt at the delivery of your work and always try to push yourself the extra mile. No, you are not trying to be the next favorite, but you want to build a relationship. Maybe this bad boss may learn a thing or two from you!
Call your manager in a meeting and speak to them about your concerns. You don’t have to show an imbalance of emotions. You just have to present your notes, state what is unfair and emphasize the work you put in which is being unrecognized. Yes, just call your own performance review! Read Why you need a Mentor … and then find a mentor! If nothing else works, get away from this place, do your research and find a better opportunity, no need for TOXIC!
Be an Awesome Manager!