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Favouritism kills workplace morale


One of the advantages of being a small island is everyone seems to know everyone else. But that can also serve as a disadvantage when conducting business with employees.

Managers or other people in authority need to be conscious of the impact of favoritism and how it negatively affects the morale of all involved. Small acts of favoritism that seem harmless can alter productivity and create tension to change the dynamics of any workplace.{{more}}

The most common areas where employees complain about favoritism being shown are in the promotion process, hiring and firing, and finally choice assignments.


Whenever a position opens, the hiring manager needs to consider the demands of the position, then look at the current staff to see who is best qualified. The promotion decision should not be based on who you are best friends with, family ties or people to whom you are attracted. Denying someone the position because you do not like or do not get along with that individual is unacceptable. Decisions should be based on qualifications, performance history, and the ability to meet the expectations of the position.

Hiring and Firing.

 Careful consideration should be given before hiring or firing an employee. During the hiring process, the potential candidate should be evaluated fairly, not on any personal biases against or in favor of that person.  The same criteria should be used in firing. What are the grounds for firing? Is it a personal issue or performance related? Try to be objective or bring in a neutral party to help make these decisions.

Choice Assignments. 

In every job there are some assignments that are more desirable than others. Whether it involves travel, taking a break from the worst task in the company or taking time off, managers need to devise a fair system so everyone can enjoy these advantages. Problems arise when the same people are allowed to take advantage of the system because they always have an excuse or special circumstances that allow them to get more than other employees.

Favoritism should not be confused with kindness or courtesy and employees know the difference.

Karen Hinds is “The Workplace Success Expert.” For a FREE SPECIAL REPORT on Avoiding Career Killers in the Workplace, send an email to
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