There are a lot of ways nepotism affects a workplace. But it is not always a bad thing. There can be some positive effects. There is certainly a difference when you look at, for example, nepotism vs. cronyism.

how nepotism affects a workplace

Let’s take a look at how these terms are defined and then discuss how they can potentially turn into a problem:


What Is Nepotism?

Nepotism is a type of favouritism in which those in power favor friends or relatives by hiring them and giving them jobs. Hiring managers may choose to hire a friend or relative because they trust them, know them well, and believe they are a great fit for a job. It’s not always about them doing a favor or having ill intentions.

What Is Favouritism?

Favouritism is the act of giving preference or preferential treatment to one individual at the expense of others. For example, a manager gives one employee all the best assignments.

What Is Cronyism?

Cronyism is the action of assigning friends, relatives, and associates to positions of power when they do not have the proper qualifications or experience. For example, a CEO gives a friend a management role even though they have no prior experience.

How Nepotism and Cronyism Affects A Workplace

The presence of nepotism, favouritism, and cronyism can all pose potential issues in the workplace. Here are some of the most common issues:

  1. Employees will feel unfairly treated: Since they feel that effort is not rewarded, they lose the drive to work hard and go above and beyond. Productivity and performance can start to suffer.
  2. No trust in leadership: You could lose your team. They will not have faith in your actions or words. A negative company culture could develop.
  3. You lose your most talented people: If a hard-working talent is passed over, they will see the writing on the wall. They will start to look elsewhere and will exit the company when the opportunity arises.

The act of hiring a friend or colleague is not an issue itself. This happens all the time. It’s how you go about it that matters. Blatantly favoring someone you know, giving them preferential treatment, or assigning roles to them even if they are not qualified is when issues begin to arise.

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IQ PARTNERS is an Executive Search & Recruitment firm supporting clients across the country. We help companies hire better, hire less & retain more. We have specialist teams of recruiters in Executive Search / Board & C-Suite, Technology, Media, Digital & Marketing, Accounting & Finance, Financial Services & Insurance, Cannabis, Startup, Data Science, Consumer, eCommerce & Retail, Operations & HR, Manufacturing, Supply Chain & Engineering, Legal & Professional Services, Pharmaceutical & Life Sciences, Non-Profit & Sustainability, and Sales. Click here to view current job openings and to register with us.

Priscilla Poirier

Priscilla is a Recruitment Consultant whose primary focus is recruiting for contract positions within the IT, Finance, and HR functions. With more than four years of experience as a specialized contract recruiter, within the IT & Finance sectors, Priscilla truly enjoys what she does. She loves that recruitment allows her to meet amazing new people every day, and is thrilled when she can make someone’s day by letting them know they GOT THE JOB!

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