to Avoid Favoritism In the Workplace

10 Proven Tips to Avoid Favoritism In the Workplace

Playing favorites in a workplace is a dangerous game. Robert Whipple rightfully said that:

“Leaders who practice favoritism in the workplace have no chance to build a culture of trust.” 

According to Paul Russell, the Managing Director of Luxury Academy, there are mainly two types of favoritism in office. Arbitrary favoritism happens when managers treat particular employees differently just because they gel well with them.

The other type is performance-based favoritism, which happens when the employers applaud high-performing employees more than the others. 

Either of the two can prove to be quite harmful in the workplace. Agreed that it is human nature to like some people more than others, but is it good to do so on a professional platform? 

The answer is no. Then, how to prevent favoritism in the workplace? Here are a few tips on how to avoid favoritism in the workplace while rewarding employees.

10 Tips to Avoid Favoritism In The Workplace

1. Keep Track 

This is one of the best ways to prevent partiality at the workplace. The manager must make a conscious effort to divide projects fairly. The reason is that the employees know when they are being assigned a particular work and when they are not. 

Hence, employers must keep a record of who they had brought to the latest presentation as a leader or who was assigned to be the team leader weekly or as per the assignment. All these small efforts on the employers’ end will help bring about fairness.

Recommended Read: A Manager’s Guide to Improve Communication Skills at Work

2. Setting an Example 

Employees always look up to their employers or managers. Thus, the manager must set an example before the employees to motivate them to work effectively and efficiently

Sharing their successes will make the employers aspire to be like them and thus, maintain equality in the standard of work among all workers.

3. Preventing an Inner Circle Mentality 

An inner circle mentality is one of the main reasons employees feel that their manager plays favorites in the workplace. As a result, employees are always investigating favoritism in the office. 

Hence, the manager should always check their behavior pattern toward the employees and ensure that their actions are not construed as partiality in the workplace.

4. Being Frequent and Consistent With Recognition 

If only a few people are appreciated frequently in a year, it becomes obvious that the spotlight is on them. These are the instances other employees notice quite closely. Nowadays, even a sprinkle of praise and appreciation shown toward all the employees is considered to be quite rewarding. 

Employers must ensure that they do not recognize only a few people on the team but must appreciate the team on the whole. This, in turn, will motivate each member to give their best. Consistency in appreciating every employee’s efforts is one of the most effective solutions for dealing with favoritism at work.

5. Appreciation for “Doing the Job” 

Sometimes, certain roles may not require the person to go above and beyond to complete the task. Their role might be simply executing a routine activity, and their value is added when they do that routine task efficiently and diligently. The manager must take a step back to appreciate and give credit to such individuals. 

For example, a person’s job is to document the client’s information. The task might not require a lot of skill, but it needs consistency and perseverance. Such work, when recognized, acts as a boost to the employees.

6. Recognition of the Action 

Recognizing just the person does not add as much value as when the action and the person who performed that action both are recognized.

The recognition of the action makes it harder for other employees to argue as to why the credit was given in the first place and at the same time will also educate others on why the employee in question was appreciated.

Recommended Read: Employee Rewards and Recognition Ideas [2021 Guide]

7. Maintain a Reward System 

While maintaining a reward system, the employer must consider a few criteria to avoid favoritism at work. The few important aspects being work accuracy, attendance, and efficiency.

8. Work Accuracy 

In a reward system, the employer must reward the accuracy of the work done by the employees on the same scale. Thus, it will remove all the inhibitions of other employees regarding favoritism.

9. Attendance 

The employer must ensure that all the employees report to the manager daily regarding their work. This is to avoid hand-me-downs.

10. Efficiency 

The efficiency of the employees can be rewarded based on how much progress they make towards the goals set by the employer. Therefore, it is important to credit every employee for their progress in whatever task has been assigned to them so that they are motivated to work better.


Eliminating favoritism in the workplace is one of the major tasks of a manager. If managers always surround themselves with the people they like to work with, it will only limit their own growth.

Having the confidence to work and manage people of different characteristics and ensuring a good employer-employee relationship is indeed an admirable goal for any professional of that stature.

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