Favouritism in the workplace

A simple model to guide your actions at work.

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At your café job, it seems that the boss always gives preference to some staff over others. They get the best shifts, avoid the worst tables, and always seem to be laughing and joking with the boss.

Do you…

Step Forwards?

You can choose to talk to the boss about this directly. They may genuinely have been unaware, and glad to have the feedback. Alternatively, they could resent this and accuse you of being a negative influence in the workplace. Before you decide, you need to get a read on the boss and have a good idea of the type of person they are. It also needs to be the right time – not during busy service, but towards the end of work when you are all a bit more relaxed.

Step Sideways?

It might be easier to talk to your colleagues first, to see if they have observed the same favouritism. You may be able to chat to the boss casually, without offering specifics, giving examples rather than names, and see how they react. You may be able to have a conversation with the boss, and just suggest you are really keen to work more closely with them. It may not change their attitude, but at least you may feel more included.

Step Back?

The status quo is likely to continue if you don’t call out the behaviour. You may get used to it in time. However, if the boss really didn’t know they were showing favouritism, you have missed out on an opportunity to improve your own experience at work.

Are you a

Supervisor or Manager?Young Employee?