My boss openly favors my colleague; it is discouraging


Q. I am one of the three brand managers for a juice manufacturing company and I enjoy my job, however, my boss plays favourites.

Daniel is the first person he calls when he needs advice and tells him in advance what we will discuss in our weekly meetings. Due to this, my other colleague and I feel as if there are two tiers of brand managers.

One with Daniel at the top, and us on the lower tier. These acts of favouritism are wearing us down, what should we do?

Such a scenario is common in most workplaces.

Ideally, employees should be treated equally and objectively to avoid favouritism, which breeds resentment at work. However, bosses are human beings and have their own biases.

That said, most employees only focus on the tasks that they are assigned; this prevents them from thinking beyond their respective role, hence are not resourceful experts for the particular role they hold.

Without sounding as if I am supportive of this behaviour, it could be that Daniel is the more proactive one here, a factor that your boss has identified.

Take a critical review of yourself and your colleagues to find out why your boss does not approach you for advice.

Could it be that both of you only focus on your respective roles, hence don’t have the capability needed to offer advice beyond your responsibilities? Focus on your deliverables and ensure that you meet and exceed your objectives.

Also, interact with your boss more to understand the operations of the entire business.

Go on and find out from him how he would like to be updated on the projects you are working on. This will give you an opportunity to get feedback on your work and areas for improvement. You could also consider having a candid discussion with him and let him know that you would like to share ideas given an opportunity.

Consider joining the marketing professional body if you haven’t done so already, to stay updated on new marketing developments. This knowledge will make you resourceful to your boss.

Also, develop a rapport with the colleague you perceive is being favoured, to learn from him.

You need the support of each other as a team to fulfil your responsibilities, therefore start an initiative to build good teamwork and a good working relationship with all the brand managers by not alienating the colleague you consider the blue-eyed boy.

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