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How To Deal With Jealousy In The Workplace (For Employees And Leaders)

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Jealousy is a powerful and destructive emotion. You don’t want to let it fester, it will damage productivity and most importantly the jealous person, and probably the person they are jealous of also. Here are some expert tips on how to combat jealousy in the workplace.

#1 Team Player

Jealousy in the workplace is a real nightmare. It happens to the best of us, whether you're a manager, peer, or in another department.  While I've found myself jealous of coworkers in the past, especially when they receive a promotion or bonus I felt I was more worthy of, I remind myself that we're a team. When you're in athletics or on an academic team, it's easier to get excited about a teammate doing well. When they do well, you all do well, or even win in some cases. The workplace is no different, for the most part.  The next time you find yourself feeling jealous of a coworker, just remember that when one of you does well, the entire company benefits, and as a result, you do too. Even if it's not as nice as getting that shiny promotion.

Contributors: John Shieldsmith from The Thrifty Dad

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#2 Invest in a Flat Organizational Structure

In the traditional office environment there is a clearly defined hierarchy: CEOs and bosses at the top, then managers in the middle and staff at the bottom. Flat structures however get rid of the middle man and puts everyone on an even playing field. Because there are no managers there isn’t the stress of fighting for promotions, feeling belittled by coworkers of higher ranks or a sense that one is at the bottom of the totem pole. By having a flat structure there is direct communication between business owner and employee which not only fosters better relations between the big dogs and staff workers but gives more responsibility and decision making to staff. I love being able to sit with all my employees and have their ideas heard and the absence of managers helps my staff feel more comfortable giving their input. When employees are all treated equally and feel comfortable in the workplace there is little room for jealousy to rear it’s ugly head. 

Contributors: Petr Marek from Invoice Home

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#3 Keep the Office Open

While some opponents to the open office say that it decreases productivity, the benefits to coworker relationships outweighs the bad for us. Every member of staff has face-to-face interaction with not just their colleagues but also the business owners thus fostering the sense of equality in the company. Staff get to know their coworkers as actual people and not names on an email chain so when one worker gets recognition for a job well done other staff members are more likely to react positively than with jealousy. Also, if one coworker gets recognition above the others in an open office this can be accomplished without leaving your desk instead of organizing a meeting or party which can make other colleagues envious. An open office leads to open communication generating more openness with emotions and less jealous behavior. 

Contributors: Petr Marek from Invoice Home

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#4 Be a Teacher, Not Just a Leader

As a business owner don’t be afraid to assign responsibilities to less experienced workers or hire staff with less than ideal resumes. It is important to leave the opportunity for learning open to allow for advancement and also the possibility to form relationships with colleagues that employees may have little contact with. If someone is recognized for an exceptional marketing campaign and a new employee with little marketing experience is jealous of that employee’s recognition I will always go the extra mile to offer that employee an education in marketing and even give them the opportunity to try to develop their own campaign. When you allow someone an education and opportunity they become bright eyed and excited- not green with envy- and will work hard until they receive that same level of recognition. I always try to have employees from specific departments learn skills from other departments to keep this energy alive and to foster better relationships with colleagues across departments. 

Contributors: Petr Marek from Invoice Home

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#5 Allow Employees to Take Home Office

Full time workers often spend more time with coworkers than their actual families so it is nice to give reprieve staff of the usual 9-5. Allowing for home office gives employees the chance to have breaks from one another if there is an issue without giving time off of work. Home office also makes coming into the office less of a burden. The last thing you want is for your employees to hate coming to work and this hatred can transfer into hatred toward other employees easily thus breeding jealousy. With home office employees feel more free in their position and giving staff options help them feel like a more respected employee.

Contributors: Petr Marek from Invoice Home

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#6 Fix The Psyche

Jealousy always comes from something internally. You are not really jealous at that person, you are jealous of something they possess or lack thereof. First we need to identify what is making us jealous and why and work on that thing indefinitely until we extract if out of our personality. This can be through books on the subject or audios, etc. When you clear out jealousy in your life through self development, you will notice that other events unrelated to work jealousy will come up in your life and you will automatically feel less emotion/jealousy to those situations. Fix one area of the psyche, or better one, and the other related issues become less significant, leading to overall growth of the individual.

Contributors: Chris Cucchiara from Personaldevelopfit

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#7 Work on being a gracious winner

It's difficult to be jealous of someone who celebrates your achievements as well. To that end, find things in others to be positive about, and ways to make others feel that they are still necessary parts of the team. This doesn't mean playing down your own achievements, but acknowledging team efforts. 

Contributors: Nate Masterson from Maple Holisitcs

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#8 A Case For HR?

In dealing with workplace jealous you first need to identify who is effected. If there are other parties effected by jealousy, for instance, if your team is being harassed, or your personal work is being intercepted, you have a case for HR. If you aren't yet at that stage there are many ways to stay head fast and on track. Although it's not easy, accept that you deserve to be in the position that you are in, you've worked hard to achieve success, and have every right to be acknowledged as that. This will make it easier to not take the jealousy to heart.

Contributors: Nate Masterson from Maple Holisitcs

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