Why Managers Should Never “Play Favourites”

February 15, 2018

As individuals, we all have people who we like more than others.

That is how we choose our mates, our significant others and possibly even our business partners.

However, two areas in life where favourites should never be picked are amongst children or employees.

Although it is advantageous to reward high-achieving employees for their hard work to increase motivation, there is a reason why managers should never play favourites, which include:

Lower Corporate Morale

It does not feel good to come to work every day and constantly feel inferior to a colleague.

When your boss only asks them for their opinions, only shares privy information with them or invites them to lunch, while you just sit by, that does not bode well for company morale.

All employees want to be treated similarly, and when they notice that they are not day in and day out, they become upset and it leads to a poor corporate morale in the organisation.

Lower Productivity

It is important to notice the hard work of every single colleague.

If that is not the case, and the boss favours someone else, you start to believe that your efforts don’t matter.

If regardless of how hard you try, you don’t get the same praise or recognition as others, you will ultimately start to try less.

A boss’ favouritism will lead to lower productivity as the other staffers will simply give up and stop working at their best levels.

High Employee Turnover

After becoming less efficient and more upset with the apparent favouritism in the office, employees can simply decide to leave the company.

During exit interviews, HR managers report that one of the biggest reasons that an individual has chosen to quit is because they were treated less favourably than their peers (or at least they thought so).

Alternatives To Playing Favourites

There is a difference between rewarding star players and simply choosing favourites.

To boost productivity, you should motivate your staffers to work hard. However, that must be based on a fair and transparent system that everyone is aware of.

Recognise your employees based on their sales, improvement in objectives and perfect attendance records.

These are all things that can be announced and monitored, and rewarded fairly.

Even though some employees may not be happy that they didn’t come out on top, they will still know that everything was done by the book.