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In the article ‘Envy at work,’ Tanya Menon and Leigh Thompson asserted that, “Envy in the place of work can contribute immensely to the down fall of any organization.” In most cases, the end result turns out to be damaging to the envied and the envier.
In line with this, the authors argue that envy can be difficult to manage especially when the envier is in a state of denial. Self-denial tends to be common due to the unsocial nature of envy and the way it manifests itself when left untamed. Furthermore, in the article, the authors talk about envy in the workplace and suggested various ways in which it can to be prevented or avoided (2).
Manifestation of envy
To give a perfect example of how envy could be the source of strained relationship between friends or colleagues, two coworkers namely Scott and Marty used to be team mates in a consulting firm. They both had a perfect performance record and regarded it as the core personalities of the team.
In as much as both were competitive, they had different personalities, Marty was more of a performer, but Scott was more of a social person who had his networking skills well cut out.
Scott gained more recognition and attention as compared to Marty due to his social traits. Marty on the other hand got less attention and he brushed aside Scott’s qualities and claimed that people will only recognize who is superior regardless of character (Menon & Thompson 3).
Scott later earned a promotion at the work place and this irritated Marty and made him envious of Scott. In the end, due to envy Marty almost sabotaged Scott’s presentation. Instead of Scott losing his job, Marty is sent packing and he lost his job.
This clearly indicates how the envy of one colleague towards another can cause one to stop focusing on his achievements and instead struggle to sabotage other person’s positions. In the end this only succeeds in damaging the envier s reputation and respect (Menon & Thompson 3).
Tanya Menon and Leigh Thompson further pinpointed that most managers prefer getting ideas from their counter parts in different organizations as opposed to getting ideas from internal colleagues.
This idea has resulted in companies having to spend more on time and money hiring consultants yet the organization consists of people who can execute the job in a similar way or even better. The issue of inside rivalry tends to damage an organization in terms of losing its key people to other organizations where their ideas are more appreciated (4).
The authors in their article suggested ways in which envy can be tamed and managed in a manner that does not damage an organizations growth. The first step is identifying things that make an individual envious of others. Also, asking things that make an individual feel insecure. They suggest focusing on one’s progress rather than concentrating on other coworkers or individuals development.
That way one is able to gauge personal progress and avoid envious feelings from coming up every time a colleague progresses. Another important aspect involves acknowledging ones strengths since everyone has something that he or she is good at (Menon & Thompson 5).
In order to manage envy in a team, the authors suggested simple techniques such as the sharing of glory. Whenever a team performs well, the managers need to congratulate all team members and also promote some members. This will play a huge role in creating a good relationship and nurturing future leaders. Another important strategy includes making what appears scarce to be in abundance.
This will reduce competition for resources and consequently curtail levels of envy among colleagues. The organization should also give workmates who appear as envious of one another, different levels of influence so that they would not have to brush shoulders trying to outdo one another. By so doing, they will be gauged based on different metrics.
The authors warned managers to avoid selective praises whereby they consistently give praise and attention to selected few and ignoring other team members who obviously contribute to the team’s success in one way or the other. Collaborative ideas and innovations ought to be encouraged in organizations in order to encourage sharing of ideas among members of an organization and learning from one another.
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The authors state that envy comes naturally and automatically, but can be controlled or managed and harnessed to improve an individual’s performance and also the performance of team members (Menon & Thompson 6).
Lastly, the authors asserted that “by meditating on vulnerable moments and exercising new habits, one can change an improper and harmful emotion into a means of improving both performance and dealing with coworkers.”
From this text, I personally would discourage envy to come in between an organizations progress because in most cases, it ends up creating enmity among colleagues and eventually they end up devising ways of sabotaging their coworkers. The sole looser becomes the organization because as a result, it loses its bests managers and workers to other organizations.
Menon, Tanya, and Thompson Leigh. “Envy at work.” Harvard Business Review. April 2010: 1-6. Print.