Are You Playing Favorites in Your Office? Or Helping Develop All of Your Employees?

March 25th, 2019

It’s human nature to like some people more than others, but when you’re the boss, you can’t display favoritism. You took the time to hire accountants in Spokane with the right skills and personality to thrive on your team, but if people are made to feel like second-rate employees, they’ll eventually quit.

Chances are, you might not even realize you’re giving certain employees preferential treatment — i.e., looking the other way when they show up late to work and asking them to tag along to important meetings. However, the rest of your team definitely notices, and they’re not happy about it.

Four Ways to Avoid Playing Favorites With Employees

Don’t Befriend Your Direct Reports

Friendships often develop when you work closely with someone — especially when the two of you have a lot in common. This is great, except when you’re the other person’s boss. In this case, the relationship needs to remain strictly professional. It’s definitely a bummer, but serving double duty as boss and friend isn’t fair to the rest of your employees.

Keep Track of Assignments

You’re a busy manager who constantly doles out assignments to your team. Having a lot on your plate can make it difficult to remember who has recently completed what projects. This can lead to an unfair division of labor, with some employees always receiving the prime tasks everyone wants. Avoid this by carefully documenting who is assigned to what, so everyone gets an equal chance to do the most exciting work.

Display Consistent Behavior

When managing a team, it’s important to treat everyone equally. For example, you can’t punish one person for taking a long lunch, but do nothing when another employee commits the same offense.

Different people require different amounts of attention, so you might spend more total time with some staffers than others, but try to keep quality time the same. For example, if you take one employee out to lunch for their birthday, do the same for everyone else.

Ask Another Manager for Input

Looking at your own behavior subjectively isn’t easy. You might think you’re treating everyone equally, but inadvertently favoring one person over everyone else. Therefore, it’s helpful to ask another manager for their opinion, because they’re not directly involved with the situation. Feedback from an impartial third party will alert you to behaviors you might not realize you’re exhibiting, so you can make any necessary changes.

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