Managing staff can be tricky. Jealousy of superiors can creep in when team members feel unappreciated. This can be triggered by a pay raise or promotion of their boss, but it could also be the result of mere frustration with their own progress.
Some jealous employees will aim to bring others down, making the work environment unpleasant. This could lose the manager some good team members and cause a decrease in team morale.
Here are seven ways to manage jealousy and competition, to avoid them becoming an issue in the workplace:
1. Remain Professional
However you decide to discuss an issue with an employee, you should always stay professional. Continue to do your own work to the best of your ability, speak to the employee the same way you speak to other members of staff, and refrain from making it personal.
If an employee has taken pleasure in making you look bad, it may be tempting to give them a dressing down with an audience. However, this is unprofessional and will only serve to prove that their actions are affecting your work ethic.
2. Be Positive
Many jealous employees make an assumption about the wage their boss earns and convince themselves that they could do a better job for the money.
They don’t necessarily take into account the hard work, years of service, and experience that got you to the position you’re in. They probably don’t realize the workload that’s involved. Therefore, it will be in their favor to see you stressed out and behind the deadline.
Stay calm and remain positive. Appearing to struggle will give the employee ammunition and the impression that you don’t deserve your role.
3. Refrain from Bragging
Try to avoid any conversations about things that involve money, such as a new car, house, vacation, or raises.
Avoid topics like these, as they could appear condescending to your team.
Your employee will be more likely to feel jealous of you if they feel they are underachieving themselves.
As their manager, you should engage with your staff about their goals. One-to-ones are a good way to do this; giving them a chance to think about what they want to achieve will get them thinking about how to achieve it.
Offering advice will help them to perceive you as less of a threat. If employees feel they have some support, they will see you as more of a mentor than an obstacle.
5. Remember Your Position
Regardless of the employee’s emotions, your own position should never be compromised for the sake of your ego.
Taking a lighter approach to managing a jealous employee will only be offering them “special treatment”, and they will inevitably act out as a result.
They will repeat the behavior, believing it to be the cause of special treatment.
6. Give Credit Where it’s Due
It could be tempting to ignore the achievements of an employee who does their best to find her faults. It is best to give credit where it’s due to encourage staff to concentrate on their own successes rather than on their failures.
This will help to increase motivation and cooperation and decrease hostility and animosity.
7. Have a One on One Discussion
If the situation doesn’t improve, you may need to take your employee aside and have a calm, honest chat with them about their behavior.
They might not be aware of how they’re coming across, or they might need their behavior pointed out to them to put it to bed. Do this in a calm, professional manner, and remember to keep it professional.
The thing to remember about jealous staff is that they will more than likely be unhappy with their own position. Helping people to succeed will go further than abusing your power.
How Can Leaders Manage Jealous Team Members?
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