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Unfair and Excessive Workload as It Relates to Favoritism and Nepotism in the Work Place

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Favoritism at work is exactly what it sounds like: favoring someone not because he or she is doing a great job, but for reasons outside of the job performance

For instance, a manager consistently offers an employee the best and most highly-regarded projects, even though that employee does not perform well enough to deserve them. Or perhaps an employee is offered a promotion over someone else who has been at the company longer and has more experience. Nepotism in the workplace is a practice of appointing relatives to positions for which others are more qualified. Despite its negative connotations, nepotism can be an important and positive practice in the early stages of a startup company where people are usually being asked to work for low salaries.

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When either favoritism or nepotism takes place in the workplace, the effect is usually the same. It leads to a number of negative results (aslo known as discrimination in the workplace) such as: Lower morale. When employees perceive that there is favoritism in how they are treated by management, a sense of unfairness creeps in. It raises the question, “Why didn’t I get that project/promotion/corner office?” This brings down company morale, because favoritism is understood to mean that no matter what you do, your efforts won’t be rewarded if you’re not one of the favored few. Resentment. What then follows is resentment towards the manager who is unfairly favoring an employee who may not be the most deserving, as well as towards the favored employee who is taking advantage of the situation. Desertion. If the resentment reaches a certain point, your company may be at risk of losing some potentially excellent employees who won’t want to stick around where they’re not appreciated. Overlooked potential. When a manager continually favors one or a few employees over the others, he or she may be missing out on the talents and skills the others bring to the table. This can lead to promoting someone who is not ready for more responsibilities over someone who is ready and able to take on a challenge. Stunted growth. With a decline in morale, growing resentment, and overlooked potential, a manager who unfairly favors one employee is also hurting the company overall by stunting the growth that would come from moving the best employees forward to management positions. This also is a consequence of losing employees who may have been of great value. Legal implications. Last but certainly not least, the practice of favoritism may lead to legal action if an employee feels that he or she was discriminated against or was forced to work in a hostile environment

A manager’s favoritism could end up costing your company a lot of money in attorney’s fees.

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Favoritism is seen as unfair practice of treating some people better than others. Arasli and Tumer (2008) show favoritism as an act of giving special employment and job related preferences to socially related people. The existence of favoritism is prevalent in most cultures but more popular in small states (Ozler et al., 2011; Sadozai et al., 2012), which have strong social or family ties. When a manager employs or gives promotion based on blood relationships instead of competency (Sadozai et al., 2012) this action is called nepotism. These practices (Fa/Ne) spoil effective selection and recruitment procedures in organizations because selection is not based on merit. The tendency to recruit unqualified individuals would be high; subsequently these individuals may sabotage the service. Disharmony begins to appear between present employees and new employees who have family or social ties with a person in the top management (Arasli & Tumer, 2008). This disharmony may lead to job burnout (Dyląga et al., 2013) or emotional exhaustion.

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Often, simply writing about an encounter can help you manage some of the most daunting challenges, especially when the challenges could potentially interfere with your livelihood. Employers have an obligation to provide a work environment that provides equal opportunity for all employees, regardless of factors not related to the job, such as age, color, national origin, race, religion or sex

If you believe that your employer is engaging in unfair employment practices, a written complaint may begin the resolution process

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Arasli, H., & Tumer, M. (2008). Nepotism, favoritism and cronyism: A study of their effects on job stress and job satisfaction in the banking industry of north Cyprus. Social Behavior and Personality, 36(9), 1237-1250.

Ozler, E., & Buyukarslan, A. (2011). The overall outlook of favoritism in organizations: A literature review. International Journal of Business and Management Studies, 3(1), 275-284.

Sadozai, A., Zaman H., Marri, M., & Ramay, M. (2012). Impact of favoritism, nepotism and cronyism on job satisfaction a study from public sector of Pakistan. Interdisciplinary Journal Of Contemporary Research In Business, 4(6).

Dyląga, A., Jaworeka, M., Karwowskib, W., Kożusznikc, M., & Marekd, T. (2013). Discrepancy between individual and organizational values: Occupational burnout and work engagement among white-collar workers. International Journal of Industrial Ergonomics, 43(3), 225–231.

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