How To Deal With A Boss Who Plays Favourites


favourite employee

What do you do when you have a boss who clearly has his (her) ‘favorites,’ and blatantly treats some employees better than others?  They get better perks, better working hours, more interesting projects, and are treated with more respect. It can be quite demotivating, to say the least, and it can lead to a poisonous work environment..

To be honest, the first thing you have to do is look in the mirror.  In many of the instances where I hear of employees getting preferential treatment, it turns out that it’s because they deserve it.  They have better attitudes, better work ethics, and are contributing more to the organization.  The boss treats them better because they’ve earned it.  And, although the boss might not be treating you equally, you have to ask yourself, as honestly as you can, if you’re being treated fairly.

You don’t want to moan and complain to your co-workers – all that will do is send the message that you have a negative attitude.  And you don’t want to storm up to your boss and demand equal treatment – that will make you look like a whiner.  But if, after a little introspection, you’re convinced that there’s a genuine inequity, here’s one strategy you can try:

Identify one thing that you would like – better hours, better projects, etc.  Approach your boss, and let him know that your goal is to do whatever it takes to earn this privilege.  Ask him what he needs to see in order for you to attain this.  Once he’s told you, make a point to do it.  You may be surprised at how positively he responds.


[This is from the Archive Project – where we are attempting to get 10 years of Winning at Work on the web! Original publication date: 23 April, 2005]

Shaun Belding is CEO of The Belding Group and has been consulting and speaking on customer experience, employee engagement and workplace performance for 24 years

One Response

Comments? We'd Love to Hear Them!

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

%d bloggers like this: