Monday, October 7, 2013

Is It Legitimate Performance Recognition or Is Your Boss Playing Favorites?

Your boss plays favorites--mercilessly! You hate it. It’s petty, childish, and completely inappropriate.

Agreed! And a surprising number of senior execs have both witnessed favoritism and quite a few admitted to playing favorites themselves: A survey conducted by Georgetown University’s McDonough School of Business last spring found that 92% of senior business executives have seen favoritism at play in employee promotions, including at their own companies (84%). About a quarter of the polled execs admitted to practicing favoritism themselves.

However, there’s favoritism--which is undeserved recognition and opportunities--and there’s deserved recognition and opportunities, which is not favoritism. Yet the two can be easily confused, unless you look a little deeper.

Ryan Kahn, a career coach and author, says: “It’s important for employees to distinguish favoritism from performance recognition. With my own clients, I’ve had instances where they’ve seen peers getting opportunities they were not receiving and perceiving that as favoritism.  On further investigation, it turned out those employees were working extra hours, going above and beyond to earn the confidence of their employer and, ultimately, earning those chances for advancement.” 

Time for a reality check! Before you get all huffy about your boss’s behavior, make sure those “favorites” aren’t in truth hard-working employees. And if they are those who go the extra mile, well then, the good news is--you can go the extra mile and get those perks, too.

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