Jealousy at work destroys business | Sunday Observer

Jealousy at work destroys business

26 March, 2023

Does everyone in your workplace get along well… or is there an undercurrent of negativity — or even jealousy? Workplace jealousy occurs when one coworker feels anxious or insecure about the talents of another employee.

This can deter the progress of an organisation. It’s important to remain positive, kind and professional in the workplace to prevent and lessen workplace jealousy between team members. If not teamwork will become a daydream and business performance will suffer.

An increment, a promotion, an appreciation from the boss, or any professional achievement proving that you are more efficient than your coworkers may make them jealous. Office peers who achieve less at work could feel envious.

Their attitude and conduct change. Sarcasm, cold-shouldering, and hostile behaviour may bog you down. Jealousy is a negative emotion and therefore, coping with envious coworkers is essential to focus on your professional goals.

Causes and signs

Employees might feel jealous if they think someone else is getting preferential treatment. For instance, if their co-worker regularly goes to the manager’s room, that could lead to jealousy. They might be afraid that the co-worker will win a promotion ahead of them. Another cause of jealousy – close to envy – is when the employee feels that they’ve been treated unfairly or that they have to deal with problems no one else has. 

Belittling other people’s accomplishments is a common sign to read the issue.  Jealousy can arise for all kinds of reasons, and it’s your colleagues’ responsibility to work through them, not yours. Ignore the jealous behaviour.

If you do decide to speak to your colleague about it, do so privately and in a non-confrontational way. You may discover that the root of jealousy is a communication problem.

Maybe you are struggling with jealousy or envy at work too. Perhaps you have a star co-worker who’s constantly getting praised by management – and who receives lavish rewards. Maybe that you hate a person for his or her past bad behaviour – carrying a tale against you. Jealousy can be very destructive to your peace of mind. It keeps you focused, in a negative way, on someone else – rather than on your own actions and performance.

Remedial action

Don’t compare yourself to other people. It can be very tempting to constantly see how you measure up against someone else, whether that’s in terms of their productivity, the amount of praise they receive, or their paycheck. Instead, bring your focus back to yourself. How can you move toward your goals at work? What could you do differently this month compared with last month?

Be happy for colleagues when they succeed. And if you can’t be happy, at least pretend to, you might find that genuine pleasure in their achievement follows. Say, “Well done” when they receive an award or recognition. Try to figure out what underlies your jealousy.

Maybe you’re envious of someone’s promotion because you’re worried about your personal finances – and the money would have really helped. Is there a different way you can improve things financially? By taking positive action, you’ll find that the jealous feelings fade naturally.

Avoid gossip and talking behind people’s backs. In some workplaces, a negative culture develops where several coworkers complain to one another about a high-flying colleague. This just feeds your jealous feelings. Opt out of these types of conversations: you won’t gain anything by surrounding yourself with negative people. Jealousy can turn otherwise happy workplaces into uncomfortable places for everyone. Whether it’s your own jealousy or that of someone on your team, take steps today to root it out. It is not easy to work in a resentful environment despite performing well. Lashing out may seem the easiest option. Nope, avoid reacting to jealous team members.

Offer a lending hand instead to people who seem the most indignant and explain what it took to get the promotion or increment. Offer suggestions on how they can prove their mettle at the workplace too.  Rewards and recognition come with hard work and commitment.

It is fine to feel proud of your achievements, but that does not mean you sing your own praises. It will make your peers feel that you are arrogant. Bragging could make your colleagues even more envious. Do not boast about your achievements on social networking sites either. Be simple, modest, and factual to thwart criticisms of covetous employees. 

Right leadership

Deal with jealous coworkers by building strategic friendships at the right level. These people will help you when things get worse and open doors so that you get the required project support from your teammates. Not all will feel happy when you climb the corporate ladder. Therefore, focus on your goals.

You were rewarded because decision makers recompense those who help the company grow and expand. So stop worrying about envious team members and keep performing. Every organisation has some underperformers and envious workers. Shrug the office politics off. Deal with it tactfully and get going. Top most leaders have to be an example to lower levels – never favour anyone other than on merits – that’s critical for business success.