Favoritism effects the team
When a manager shows favoritism to one team member, the other team members will notice. This could have a negative impact on the overall team's comradery and productivity. Any thoughts?
The best option is always to talk to the manager about your concerns. Often times, people do not feel comfortable about that for the fear of retribution. If your company has an anonymous system for voicing concerns, you can go that route. Always remember that you should have concrete evidence or examples of favoritism before going forward. If you donâ€™t, such an investigation can be more distracting to everybody than productive.
Dr. Jamie Morley
It is always nice to have a 3rd party to go to when a person feel there is some kind of favoritism within the job. At times people may not realize they are being that way.
Agreed. It is always good to have an unbiased person look at the situation. Sometimes we get so wrapped up in a stressful issue that our judgment is clouded and something that would normally not bother us, seems like a really big deal. Stepping away from the situation and getting an objective opinion is a great strategy.
Dr. Jamie Morley
I agree, also favoritism can lead to one employee monopolizing the meetings and overall decisions that should be made by the entire team. Ideally, a "favorite" employee should not exist, be mindful to take all team member ideas, opinions, and suggestions into consideration. Acknowledge the team member who offers a great idea or suggestion, just do not discount the ideas of others in the process.
Establishing meeting norms is a good strategy to keep the appearance of favortism minimized while still encouraging their participation. If the protocol states that everybody can write or voice one challenge/opportunity and one success, then it is hard for naysayers to monopolize the situation. Determine the order of the meetings and set time limits for everybody to state their position, as well as time limits for discussion on each item. This lets everybody know what to expect. Consistency makes team members more comfortable.
Dr. Jamie Morley
I believe that favoritism might even impact the team has loosing great assets to a company.
If it is always the same persons who are rewarded over and over , it doesn't really shows equal opportunity into the work place.
Unfortunately we are all humans and have feelings that sometime have to take over decision taking, hard to control but manageable.
You have the power to help overcome favoritism. The best option is always to talk to the manager about your concerns. Often times, people do not feel comfortable about that for the fear of retribution. If your company has an anonymous system for voicing concerns, you can go that route. Always remember that you should have concrete evidence or examples of favoritism before going forward. If you donâ€™t, such an investigation can be more distracting to everybody than productive.
Dr. Jamie Morley
I wonder how often "favoritism" is the result not of personal bias, but of the imprinting we all have in leadership's minds' eye? If our past work behavior has been positive, do we get "favored" by the assignment of more/better future projects versus those who've displayed mediocre or negative past performance? How do the mediocre see this? As favoritism, or as a co-worker who outperforms them?
Good comment Kathleen. Our bias is always to pick the best people to complete tasks/projects. We need to make a concerted effort use perceived mediocre people. first of all people can change...and secondly, part of our job is to develop our staffs or get rid of them is there is no chance for improvement.It is critical that an open and honest line of communication remain open to track progress and give frequent and honest feedback.
I have been part of a team in which extreme favoritism existed. The team became very judgemental of decisions made by the leader and the "favorite one(s)." The team was broken and because of the continued and blatant favoritism, the team had no trust in leadership or the favorite ones.
Team members stopped being productive knowing their views, experience and contribution was unwanted and would be ignored by the leader.
Once a team in broken, in my experience, it will never again function coherently.
The key to any change is the leader. Your right, the way you described the the team structure this team will always be dis-functional.I would suggest that you confront the leader and explain your observations with specific examples and specific actions to change the team dynamic. You should also volunteer to take on key responsibilities to help make changes you have suggested. If possible, you might enlist other team members that feel the same way and confront you leader as a group. Believe it or not, sometimes leaders act as you have described out of habit and are unaware of the impact of their actions. A well thought out - positive intervention might change your leader's behavior.
Kathleen brought up a very good point. I've seen an employee who is very personable and who always complete the tasks that he is assigned to. Since his position is more of in the capacity of a support/floater, every department is always asking him to help out. As his supervisor, I am always asked if he can help out other departments on various projects, even though we have other support/floater staff on campus. Without realizing it, we are engaging in "favoritism" and this is definitely something that we need to be cautious about and work on.
Absolutely. The impact of "favoritism" is not always positive for the employee. It can be perceived that there is an work overload which could bring a whole host of other problems. As you suggested, we must remain vigilant in maintaining an appropriate work balance for all.
You make a good point. I believe in growth and development no matter what position or role a person has in an organization. If only the "experts" or the "good employees" have the opportunities to take on certain tasks, then the other employees do not get the chance to mature in their talents, gifts. In addition, this sort of leadership that focuses only on the "golden child" could create team identity problems.
Thanks! I agree "golden child" is never good for effective teams.
If it gets to the point that one person has this much influence and control it totally throws the team concept out of the window. The team should come together and address the situation with the team leader or if the team leader is the one controlling the group in this manner they should go outside of the group to bring in a neutral party to help mediate the situation.