The Hidden Costs of Favoritism: Why SMB Leaders Should Focus on the Entire Team

Published on
Mar 22, 2024
Performance reviews without docs, spreadsheets, or forms
See how WorkStory can streamline performance reviews for your team

In today's dynamic business environment, leaders are constantly seeking ways to enhance team productivity and morale.

However, there's one subtle yet pervasive issue that can undermine these efforts: favoritism.

While it might seem harmless or even natural to favor certain employees, the consequences can be far-reaching.

As highlighted by a recent Forbes article, "How Favoritism Impacts Employees And How Leaders Can Fix It," written by Duane Tursi, CEO, Ascension Group International, favoritism can have significant detrimental effect on teams. But there are ways in which business leaders can become more aware it and begin to address the issue.

The Ripple Effect of Favoritism

When leaders show preferential treatment to specific individuals, it doesn't just affect those in the spotlight.

This behavior can create a ripple effect that disrupts team harmony, lowers morale, and decreases overall productivity.

Over time, a culture of division and skepticism can develop, pushing talent away and eroding the foundational values of the organization.

The Misconception of Focusing Only on Top Performers

As highlighted by Mark C. Crowley, many companies invest heavily in developing individuals identified as "High Talent/High Potential" while neglecting the growth of others. This approach is a significant leadership mistake.

Every team member brings unique value, and by overlooking their potential, businesses miss out on opportunities for innovation, collaboration, and overall growth.

The Benefits of Focusing on All Team Members

By ensuring that all employees have equal opportunities for growth and recognition, leaders can foster a more inclusive and vibrant workplace.

This approach not only boosts morale but also promotes a culture of collaboration and innovation.

When every team member feels valued and supported, the entire organization benefits.

Steps Leaders Can Take

  1. Practice Self-awareness and Transparency: Recognize biases and maintain clear communication with the team.
  2. Create Equal Opportunities: Distribute challenging projects, training opportunities, and exposure to leadership fairly.
  3. Merit-based Recognition: Reward employees based on skills and performance, not personal relationships.
  4. Encourage Open Communication: Foster an environment where employees can voice concerns without fear of retaliation.
  5. Regular Feedback and Reviews: Conduct continuous and constructive performance reviews for all team members.
  6. Rotate Opportunities: Expose employees to different projects and roles within the organization.
  7. Leadership Training: Emphasize unbiased decision-making and the importance of fostering a positive team culture.

Building a Fair and Inclusive Workplace

Leadership is as much about recognizing our shortcomings as it is about guiding others. By addressing favoritism and actively working to create a level playing field, leaders can pave the way for a brighter future for their teams and their businesses.

For businesses looking to implement continuous performance evaluation and foster a culture of inclusivity, WorkStory is the ideal platform.

By providing tools for regular feedback, recognition, and growth opportunities, WorkStory empowers teams to thrive and businesses to succeed.

Write a review.
Right now, for free.

Hop into our editor to write your review, with the help of our AI tools, before exporting it as a PDF.

Start Writing

Latest Posts

View all articles

WorkStory Performance Review Process Webinar

Our Cofounder and CEO, Matt, will guide you through WorkStory to show you:
The key features that make the WorkStory platform different from others; it's like nothing you've seen before
How to set up your review process quickly, including customizing your questions, setting up goals, and the review relationships for your team
How companies are using WorkStory's "One-Click" review process to transform and scale their performance reviews so that team members can develop their skills throughout the year

Book Your Free Demo

Thank you, your submission has been received!
Want to save some time and schedule the meeting now?
Select a Date & Time
Oops! Something went wrong while submitting the form.