Nepotism and Groupism is Everywhere
Recently a famous bollywood actor died by suicide. The entire fraternity and common man took to social media and condemned groupism and nepotism which pushed this actor to take such a drastic decision. Everyone was in a frenzy to let everyone know that people should reach out for support. And how most of Bollywood is filled vicious people waiting to push the weaker ones down.
Truth be told, nepotism and favouritism is everywhere. In schools, colleges, work and even at home. Such is the dynamics of human behaviour. There’s always the ‘gang’ at school that everyone wants to a part of, and the less popular ones that don’t get invited to birthday parties and more (watch the American series ’13 reasons why’). Same goes with college too. And let’s not forget the subtle politics and undercurrent that happens in a normal unassuming household.
Workplace too, is no different. In several organisations, only a certain sect of people continue to grow and the rest remain redundant. All key projects go to a particular team. Most times merit isn’t considered. It’s all about knowing the right people that hold positions of power. One team member is favoured over another simply because the latter refuses to socialise or patronise mindlessly. There’s always this employee who gets targeted for speaking up. Understanding of this dynamics at workplace is still not mainstream. Only a few pound the pavement for a more meritorious and competitive workplace.
I would infact go one step ahead and say, even you and I, yes you and I could have also been passively pushing someone to feel bad. Let’s take this platform for instance. How many personal messages requesting for help, have you genuinely responded to? How many job-related posts have you shared on your profile? How many times have you liked a colleague or friend’s post without expecting them to return the favour? We are all human and sometimes we tend to overlook these nuances.
If you are an organisation:
- Establish sensitive hiring, on-boarding and exit process.
- Inculcate a culture of unbiased and unconditional feedback.
- Work with the leadership team and take their support to encourage a growth culture purely based on merit.
- Coach your employees on how to be sensitive and inclusive with their colleagues. Lead by example.
- Introduce a zero-tolerance policy on bullying and any kind of harassment. Focus on employee’s mental health and overall well-being as much as (if not more) revenue generation.
If you are an individual:
- If you can help someone, don’t hesitate. Teach a colleague the skills that you have and they don’t. Mentor someone if possible.
- Do not judge someone based on their race, orientation, ethnicity.
- If you are a team lead, give everyone a fair chance. Encourage your team to experiment. Appreciate their efforts and motivate them. Have frequent one-on-one meetings to build a rapport with each team member.
- Help that friend or acquaintance or connection on LinkedIn. Even if you can’t help, start with responding to their request for help/support. Most of us never do it. I once messaged on a whatsapp group saying I am desperately looking for a job, and among 200 members, only 4-5 of them acknowledged and responded. And believe me I have ignored such messages too without knowing how it could’ve made someone feel bad or ignored.
- Be kind and courteous to people. You never know what battles they are fighting.
We are all so consumed in a narcissistic era where it’s all about ourselves. In such a situation, sometimes some of us don’t realise that we too are a part of the ‘mean girls’ gang in our own way. People who need support, will not read your message on social media. They read your vibe, and how you have treated them in the past. Small acts of kindness and empathy go a long way.
Who knows, one insignificant yet good deed from you could help a person have a better day and a life altogether!
About the Author:
Communications professional with 12 years of experience in internal and external communications across industries viz. Financial Services, Information Technology and Real Estate.