Ann Pettengell | Recruitment | Latest News

The Green-Eyed Monster

Posted on: 16th Aug 2016 by: Ann Pettengell

It lives in every office and we all know it - envy.  That horrible, negative emotion that nobody wants to admit to and is incredibly hard to shake off.  A bit of healthy competition can be a good thing, but secretive jealousy is something else entirely.  It can damage relationships and disrupt otherwise productive teams.

We know that we are supposed to celebrate a colleague's achievements, and we do, but the success of others can also stir up some unwanted feelings of self-doubt, disappointment and resentment.  It doesn't help if the achievers accept their praise with a lack of humility.

Managers can help by ensuring opportunities are equally shared.  Additionally, Dr Robert P Veccho (author of Managing Envy and Jealousy in the Workplace) suggests the following five initiatives to counteract the detrimental effects of envy:

  • Evaluate the emotional maturity of candidates at the time of hire
  • Incorporate elements of team culture
  • Implement incentives that support cooperation
  • Encourage open communication
  • Place high performers (who often give rise to envy) in mentor roles

Furthermore, managers should ensure that they refrain from frequent public praise of a select few while neglecting all others.

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