Nepotism refers to a special form of favoritism based on personal relationships. It is an unfair and special treatment delivered typically to friends and family.
For example, hiring someone based on a personal relationship is a form of nepotism. Awarding someone with bonuses, promotions, and different types of opportunities under the influence of personal relationships is also nepotism.
Nepotism can ruin employee morale and a positive workspace. It might also deprive a talented person of getting their desired job.
The word nepotism originated from the Italian word nephew. It dates back to the 17th century when people with power gave their nephews special privileges.
Nepotism is not technically illegal. However, it is frowned upon in every type of workplace. From the film industry to the financial industry, it prevails everywhere.
Reciprocal Nepotism: When a person with power provides an opportunity, and the other party gracefully accepts, that is reciprocal.
Entitlement Nepotism: It is the act when someone feels entitled to a specific opportunity just because they are related to someone from a higher authority.
How to Identify Nepotism?
Identifying nepotism can be tricky, but surviving in workspaces is an absolute necessity. There are some signs you can look for to identify nepotism:
Qualification: If someone is hired, their qualifications aren't competent with the job description.
Tendency to ignore responsibilities without consequences: People hired through nepotism tend to take their work lightly. This behavior is easy to spot because these people usually ignore their responsibilities without being scared of any consequences.
Unprofessional behavior: They are usually unprofessional with their work behavior. Their behavior clearly shows disrespect towards other people.
Others getting deprived of opportunities: If nepotism exists in a workplace, it becomes visible that deserving candidates are getting deprived of great opportunities.
Privileged people earn better: It is obvious that people hired with this privilege earn better than other employees.
Negative Effects of Nepotism in the Workplace
Creates a toxic environment in the workplace
Less productivity and Engagement
Regular employee turnover
Destroys company reputation
Dealing with Nepotism in the Workplace
The elimination of nepotism begins with good leadership and communication skills. You must understand what is going on as a manager and leader. Here is a list of things you can do to eliminate nepotism:
Create an anti-nepotism policy that will be included in your company's list of core values.
Create anonymous employee feedback systems where they can express their concerns about nepotism.
Rely on a hiring policy that hires people based on experience and qualifications.