Overcoming Envy in the Workplace

February 28, 2018 | 1,399 views

Overcoming Envy in the Workplace

Overcoming Envy in the Workplace

Ah, February. This is the time of year when we pause to celebrate love. But managing interoffice relationships might suddenly seem easy when you’re faced with managing the opposite emotion that’s so commonly experienced in the workplace – envy.


What is Envy in the Workplace?

Envy doesn’t always coincide with romance. In fact, Harvard Business Review defines envy in the workplace as any type of distress that is felt when someone else gets something we want. It’s a common feeling that’s experienced by nearly everyone at one point or another, but that doesn’t make it easy to manage.


If you’re facing less love and more jealousy this Valentine’s Day, here are a few tips for how you can proactively work to stop this feeling from hindering your productivity.


Share the Love

It’s impossible to avoid the sting some people feel by not getting a job or responsibility on a project. However, you can increase happiness in other ways.


Work to delegate tasks equally as much as possible. Focus on spreading tasks across your entire team as much as possible. The more you can do this, the more every team member will feel valued. That feeling will help minimize any regret over not getting a specific job or task.


Offer More One-on-One Time

Sometimes, envy is born out of a feeling of being overlooked. An employee might feel invisible to you, her manager, even though you see her hard work.


By offering more one-on-one time to every single employee, you demonstrate how much you value and respect each person’s work. When another employee gets something desired, your team member will have the opportunity to ask about it privately. This will help her to understand what can be done so that the tables are turned in the future.


Encourage Communication

When negative feelings fester, they often limit productivity and emerge in unwelcome ways. They can also lead to higher turnover and less engagement from your team.


Open communication goes hand-in-hand with having one-on-one time. By encouraging your team members to reach out to you and discuss their feelings, you avoid having these negative emotions simmer beneath the surface, and thus, promote productivity in your office. In turn, your employees are happier and feel more engaged with the work they’re doing for you, which helps to boost your retention rates.


Handle the Envy

Although uncomfortable, addressing envy head on is one of the best ways to minimize its negative impact on your office. By spreading responsibility across all team members and actively opening lines of communication, you can minimize this powerful emotion among your team and encourage productivity instead.



Author Profile Jon Forknell is the Vice President and General Manager of Atlas Business Solutions, Inc., a software marketing company specializing in employee scheduling software, including ScheduleBase employee scheduling software, and other business software solutions. In the past, Jon has been recognized by the U.S. Small Business Administration as a SBA Young Entrepreneur of the Year. Atlas Business Solutions was named as one of Software Magazine’s Top 500 Software Companies in 2004 through 2007 and again in 2010, 2013 and 2014.

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