Nothing Ruins a Great Culture like Playing Favorites

As the boss, you’re supposed to treat all employees as equals. Of course, you’re only human, so sometimes this is easier said than done. The problem is, when one person is known as your favorite, everyone else tends to become resentful — and rightfully so.

If you even suspect you’re playing favorites, it’s time to put an end to this behavior. Here are a few tips to help you start treating every employee the same.

5 Ways to Stop Playing Favorites

Understand the Consequences

Treating one person as your golden employee is bad for everyone, but you might not realize the impact it can have on the entire team. When people realize one of their colleagues is the boss’s favorite, they often begrudge that person.

No matter how hard this particular employee works, any achievements or special privileges they earn will be viewed as unfair. This can lead to a huge rift in the team and can even cause people to quit if they think they’ll never get ahead, because they’re not your favorite.

Don’t Socialize With Employees

Work is a very common place to make friends, but one group of people strictly off limits are your direct reports. No matter how much you have in common with any of them, spending time together outside the workplace — or even an inordinate amount of time together in the office — will get people talking.

Keep Track of Assignments

It might be unintentional, but if you constantly give one person all the best assignments, everyone else will think something is up. Avoid this by writing down who is working on what, to make sure you’re evenly distributing the most coveted tasks. This will keep everyone happy because they’ll all be getting their fair share of sought-after projects.

Spend Time Quality Time With Everyone

Get to know each person on your team, so no one feels left out. Accomplish this by scheduling regular one-on-one meetings, stopping by each person’s desk to chat every day, and occasionally inviting each employee out to lunch with you. When you make an effort to bond with everyone, there’s no room for jealousy.

Request Outside Feedback

You might be treating one employee better than the rest and not even realize it. Ask another manager to observe your interactions with your team to get a second opinion. If they notice even the slightest bit of favoritism, take this as a sign to dial your behavior back.

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