The Perils of Having Favourites Among your Staff Members

If you have favourites amongst your staff members, whilst you may be keeping a few of them happy, you could be alienating the rest. Some bosses don't even realise they have favourites, and wonder why there is so much tension in the team.

Even if you think it doesn't apply to you, it could be worth asking someone independent of your in-house workforce what they have observed. They will probably have seen how quickly a seed of discontent can escalate and cause real problems in a business.

Know All your People

In a small operation, it's usually possible to think about how every individual is performing, and get to know their characters and their ways. If you want to get the best out of your personnel, it's also worth doing this, and then considering your reactions and responses to them.

It can be tempting to favour those who are confident, attractive and outgoing. They make their achievements obvious and you know they are deserving of praise. But they may not deserve it any more than a steady plodder who quietly gets results. It's important for an employer or manager to look behind the fašade of what is going on and recognise those who don't push themselves forward.

Don't Risk the Discrimination Accusation

When favouritism of one or two is noticed by other workers, they may feel aggrieved, even angry. They may come to believe they are being discriminated against - something every business owners needs to avoid to comply with the law.

In the Ceridian July Connection poll, more than a third of respondents actually admitted to having favourites, so if you are guilty of the same, you're not alone. And once you realise it, there are things you can do about it.

Make Some Changes

Stop singling out your favourites, and look at how you can set goals and challenges more fairly. Only give praise publicly when it can also be awarded to several. A good idea would be to arrange regular update meetings where everyone has a chance to report on what they have been doing, what they have achieved and what has been getting in the way.

This would also be an opportunity to make sure everyone has the big picture and to exchange ideas. You would need to be a good leader and draw out the quiet ones, asking the questions that would show the rest of the team their value as a member.

You could find this would be a big boost to morale overall, and have knock on effects on production and eventually the bottom line.

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