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Where I work there are two or three employees who are in tight with the supervisor. The supervisor always turns to them for advice or opinions on matters of the job. The rest of us come in and do our job and do not "hang out" with the boss. We also do not feel we have to "brown nose" or brag about our every accomplishment. There is one employee in particular, that the supervisor is always going to for advice or her opinion. The supervisor has gotten to the point where she refers to this employee in meetings or when talking one on one with the others. The supervisor is always talking about this employee to the rest of us. This employee gets special treatment and praise while the rest of us do not. What can I do as someone who does not feel the need or comfortable about having to report my every move to the supervisor to get some respect. Others in the office would also like the supervisor to include us all in ideas, projects and so forth not just the two or three. Help!! Morale is terrible in the office.
Not a brown nose
Dear Not a brown nose,
Every work place develops its own balance between "just doing our job" and "we're like a family." I don't believe that it is every healthy to think that we can work eight hours a day with a group of people and never get to know them at all. On the other hand, it is easy to become so enmeshed with our working colleagues that our personal life is affected, and we lose sight of the boundaries that are appropriate in the workplace.
In the situation you describe, it sounds like your supervisor is unaware of the way in which he/she is perceived by employees outside the tight circle. Rather than approach the current situation directly I would suggest that you approach him/her with a suggestion about doing some team building.
You might want to do some research before raising this suggestion. There are a great number of books available that can offer some guidance. Perhaps the HR department can facilitate a workshop or a retreat.
Approach your supervisor with the suggestion as something that would be helpful for you and say that you would be glad to help implement the project. Team building can be done in a great many ways. It does take some time and effort, but it is a great morale booster and it helps to overcome the sort of ill will that you describe as having sprung up due to differential treatment of some members of the team.
Thanks for writing.
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