Workplace favoritism - Talk About Marriage
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post #1 of 27 (permalink) Old 02-03-2017, 09:42 AM Thread Starter
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Workplace favoritism

Been reading this:

Favoritism & Nepotism. Unfair Treatment at Work

Quote:
Foster professionalism. At its very core, favoritism is unprofessional behavior. A first step to avoiding it is to foster and promote professionalism in your organization. They say the best offense is a good defense. Defend your company from potential favoritism by creating a professional environment that actively discourages any kind of unfair treatment.

Offer training. Educating and informing managers and employees alike is another way to help avoid favoritism in your workplace. Offer a training session on what favoritism is, why it’s detrimental, and what employees should do if they spot it in the office. If your employees are clear on what to look for, they’ll be more likely to report it if they see it.

Facilitate communication. Along the same lines as training, it’s important that employees know they have an open avenue for reporting favoritism confidentially. Unchecked favoritism is harmful, but employees won’t risk reporting it if they’re not sure how to go about it, or if they fear it will come back to negatively affect them.

Get to the bottom of it. If you discover that favoritism is taking place in your company, the most important thing is to make sure it stops. It can be a very delicate situation, to be sure, but the damage it poses is much too great to be ignored. If someone comes forth with an accusation of favoritism, don’t ignore it. Gather the facts and get to the bottom of it.
What do you think?
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post #2 of 27 (permalink) Old 02-03-2017, 10:17 AM
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Re: Workplace favoritism

Favoritism is often perceived from the "bottom up" in hierarchical organizations. Many employees would fear retaliation if they reported their line manager of playing favorites. From this standpoint, training and other facilities to counteract favoritism would be ineffective, without the right policy changes to achieve communication. Policies for open communication are key.

I'm skeptical that there's a solution for the problem. Human beings naturally form preferences for many things, people being one of them.
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post #3 of 27 (permalink) Old 02-03-2017, 11:15 AM Thread Starter
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Re: Workplace favoritism

That's what I'm afraid of, that it's more complicated a problem that I can handle, and that my company is getting too large for me to effectively manage. Perhaps I've bitten off more than I could chew but I felt I had no choice, as I'm not a sole trader. I've promoted internally as much as I can, but gaps remained that could only be filled externally - not always because of qualifications or experience, but because of interest. I'm terminating a senior staff member, with mixed opinions from both senior and 'junior' staff that have been with me for years.

I've maintained an open door policy but it seems I remain out of reach for most, and I too have been accused of favoritism. I can't handle three venues at once and I can't delegate. Perhaps the work culture I have created was great in the short run for team morale and effectiveness but in the long run as the company grows larger the very culture is undermining the core principles and foundations I have built the company on.

I'm considering selling, but not for the money, because I don't feel I can handle this. I need help.
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post #4 of 27 (permalink) Old 02-03-2017, 11:22 AM
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Re: Workplace favoritism

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Originally Posted by RandomDude View Post
That's what I'm afraid of, that it's more complicated a problem that I can handle, and that my company is getting too large for me to effectively manage. Perhaps I've bitten off more than I could chew but I felt I had no choice, as I'm not a sole trader. I've promoted internally as much as I can, but gaps remained that could only be filled externally - not always because of qualifications or experience, but because of interest. I'm terminating a senior staff member, with mixed opinions from both senior and 'junior' staff that have been with me for years.

I've maintained an open door policy but it seems I remain out of reach for most, and I too have been accused of favoritism. I can't handle three venues at once and I can't delegate. Perhaps the work culture I have created was great in the short run for team morale and effectiveness but in the long run as the company grows larger the very culture is undermining the core principles and foundations I have built the company on.

I'm considering selling, but not for the money, because I don't feel I can handle this. I need help.
RD, do you have an HR office, or do you handle all the HR yourself? I'm assuming that you handle most of it yourself.

If you don't have an HR office, you might want to consider hiring an HR manager, and perhaps an HR admin support person, who can help you handle this stuff. You can train this person on your core principles and foundations that you have established, and let them handle that aspect to take things off your plate.

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post #5 of 27 (permalink) Old 02-03-2017, 02:08 PM Thread Starter
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Re: Workplace favoritism

Everything is changing so much, I still remember when it was like five of us. I think I'm happier with that size, and I've been managing it as if it's still my baby but since expansion it's become a completely different world now, and in the end it was never my baby, as I'm not sole trader. Think if I still want fingers in this pie I guess you're right, I'll need to rebuild the organisational structure, get HR not just an accountant for payrolls.

Or I can sell and start anew, I'm so sick of this industry.
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post #6 of 27 (permalink) Old 02-03-2017, 02:29 PM
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Re: Workplace favoritism

If you hire an HR pro, they can also help you with new initiative in regards to employee review/feedback, performance incentives, and professional development. They could help bring outside perspective and help you improve organizational structure and employee satisfaction. And they work for YOU, not the other way around. They will also stay up-to-date on labor laws, fair practices, etc, to help protect your best interests.

You hire the right HR and the right management, and they will allow you to take a step back and focus on your studies. You could keep the company, and potentially continue to grow while you pursue your other goals. The fact is that as an organization grows larger, the owner needs to take more of a hands-off approach, and hire management who get on board with his vision and run the company the way he wants.

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post #7 of 27 (permalink) Old 02-03-2017, 03:39 PM
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Re: Workplace favoritism

Quote:
Originally Posted by RandomDude View Post
That's what I'm afraid of, that it's more complicated a problem that I can handle, and that my company is getting too large for me to effectively manage. Perhaps I've bitten off more than I could chew but I felt I had no choice, as I'm not a sole trader. I've promoted internally as much as I can, but gaps remained that could only be filled externally - not always because of qualifications or experience, but because of interest. I'm terminating a senior staff member, with mixed opinions from both senior and 'junior' staff that have been with me for years.

I've maintained an open door policy but it seems I remain out of reach for most, and I too have been accused of favoritism. I can't handle three venues at once and I can't delegate. Perhaps the work culture I have created was great in the short run for team morale and effectiveness but in the long run as the company grows larger the very culture is undermining the core principles and foundations I have built the company on.

I'm considering selling, but not for the money, because I don't feel I can handle this. I need help.
I took over a family business that is older than I am. AT it's highest it had several hundred people....TOO BIG is very real. I have pared it way way down....I dislike not having people that I actually know...but it is the nature of the beast. I hired a full time HR person...she has made a huge difference...but smaller is easier...and WAY more fun.

If it's not fun....whats the damn point?

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post #8 of 27 (permalink) Old 02-04-2017, 12:11 AM Thread Starter
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Re: Workplace favoritism

HR it is then, guess theres no way around it
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post #9 of 27 (permalink) Old 02-04-2017, 08:48 AM
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Re: Workplace favoritism

Dude, I work for one of the great companies in my industry. It started a long time ago with a couple of guys who just needed to get from A to B regularly, so they bought an airplane. When I started working here nearly 20 yrs ago it was a family business. Big, but still a family business. The folks senior to me were friends with the CEO, who was the son of one of the founders. They'd go on motorcycle trips together. Their kids were best buddies.

I can remember a number of seniority or procedural violations due to those friendships. Special favors, etc.

The list of businesses which interacted with my employer coincidentally included mostly businesses owned by related family members from early employees.

Now we are a seriously large corporation, with all the bureaucracy and impersonal rules that go with it. Is it better? Maybe by some measures. But the stories of how this company got off the ground are interesting. The present-day culture would not have worked to get through those really tough early days. Like the first half dozen pilots using their own personal credit card to buy fuel during a cash flow crunch. Conversely, some of the stuff that went on back then would be hazardous to survival of a large corporation.

I think what you are experiencing may well be part of the natural cycle of a business as it grows.

Also, I personally don't see a problem with favoritism if it is based in some logic. Loyalty, competence, hard work. Those are important factors. A deeply trusted person is the logical one to promote. Perhaps friendships are blind to faults, too. Regardless, business depends on personal relationships. Unless your employees can be measured solely on cold numbers (e.g. widgets built per hour), subjective factors are valid when determining who to promote or fire.
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post #10 of 27 (permalink) Old 02-04-2017, 03:00 PM Thread Starter
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Re: Workplace favoritism

How does one make such a transition smoothly? Starting to think I'll need not just HR but CM as well, but change managers are even more expensive and I'm unsure if they can overcome my team's resistance.

How did your company do it?
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post #11 of 27 (permalink) Old 02-04-2017, 05:04 PM
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Re: Workplace favoritism

We just did it organically. Idk that there was any particular plan to change the structure. Management has always had a very strong, clear vision of where they want to take the company in terms of growth. One thing I have noticed is that upper management is more distant from the front line troops now. They used to make many visits to all the locations, with plenty of free lunches to sit and talk with the top brass. Now we pretty much never see the top brass. The number of layers of management has increased a bit, but the real growth in management has been sideways, with many new departments and many new Director level positions.
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post #12 of 27 (permalink) Old 02-04-2017, 05:57 PM
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Re: Workplace favoritism

RD - this topic is out of my league but there are companies who offer HR service products.

I don't want to hijack your thread but you're having some type of perceived favoritism issue within the organization? That doesn't seem like something to drive you to this decision. Is there more going on that has you concerned?

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post #13 of 27 (permalink) Old 02-05-2017, 03:35 AM Thread Starter
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Re: Workplace favoritism

There has been alot of resistance to change, and even expansion, I have my suspicions if that is contributing to all the rampant politics now, hence considering not just HR but CM as well. But anyway, the fires have been put out thus far, I'll get HR not CM for now and continue to monitor the situation.
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post #14 of 27 (permalink) Old 02-05-2017, 08:55 AM
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Re: Workplace favoritism

You will always have favoritism. Half the interns at work are family and the other half are URM's (underrepresented minorities - including women).

Next year I'm seriously contemplating bringing my younger girl as an intern. My new boss has dumped a new research project in the lab that requires some serious neuroscience based work... And our HR / College Relations people can't even spell neuroscience. Will it raise some eyebrows? I'm sure it will.
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post #15 of 27 (permalink) Old 02-06-2017, 09:32 AM
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Re: Workplace favoritism

RD, if your employees can see how these changes will benefit them and how the change will be positive, they may be more receptive to it.

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