Lifestyle

Ask HR: I am my manager's favourite, could this affect my career?

Ask HR: I am my manager's favourite, could this affect my career?
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I have been in my job in customer care for three years and I’m still happy. However, my boss sometimes gets tough with my peers, but never with me. I always meet my targets without much support from him, and while I think this may be the reason for the favouritism, my colleagues hate it. Can this situation affect my career growth? 

Your suspicions are right. Preferential treatment at work opens doors for biases and endless conspiracy theories from those around us.  Managers should be more aware of unique strengths and needs of their teams and offer corresponding support. In your case, you are the kind of employee who needs space. You are hardworking, need less supervision and clearly know how to get your job done. Other employees may need a little help and guidance, or perhaps a constant reminder to keep them focused and productive. Every manager aspires to have a team that will exceed expectations, so it is in their best interest to lead effectively.

Supervisors can play a critical role in influencing your career path. When they believe in your capability, you are likely to enjoy good performance reviews that elevate your profile to better visibility for promotions or stretch roles. However, the opposite is also possible when such reviews are perceived by colleagues and peers as unmerited. You may be unconsciously viewed as being overly agreeable and nice, thus less competent.

I am glad you are looking for ways to make things better. Indeed, you must protect your reputation. First, establish if your colleagues truly feel this way. Would they normally choose you when they need to send someone to speak on their behalf? Suggest that you approach the matter as a team. Or could it be that since you are great at your job you tend to keep to yourself? Interact with others, help them out when they need assistance, and show them you know how to do your job without rubbing it on their faces. They will definitely give you credit for your work and ease the special treatment talk.

Perhaps during meetings your boss tends to turn to you for ideas and suggestions, paying less attention to others? Next time pass the opportunity to a colleague. A statement like “Koki has some great ideas in this area. We had some informal discussion over lunch. Perhaps she would like to share?”. This way you are not only indirectly telling the boss ‘we are a team,’ but also creating an opportunity for your colleagues to take a seat at the table.

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