If you are promoted or have a good relationship with your manager, your colleagues might become jealous of you. That is not a problem if you only get some jealous looks. But it gets more annoying when such an envious colleague makes mean comments or – worse – tries to make your job more difficult.
Jealousy in the workplace can seriously disrupt your team. Jealous colleagues divide your team into camps that can no longer work smoothly together. Envy stands in the way of growth and job satisfaction does not improve either. So, what do you do when coworkers are jealous?
How does jealousy arise in the workplace?
In order to properly tackle jealousy in the workplace, it is important that you know where it comes from. It’s not always big things that go wrong. Colleagues often talk about small things that are not always easy to put your finger on. Jealousy in the workplace often comes from insecurity. Employees try to do better themselves by putting others down.
A coworker may feel that someone else is doing better, is more fun, always getting the better jobs, bringing the best ideas, or that the promotions always go to someone else except them. This can be a reason to work for yourself. If an employee is motivated to grow through this, there is not much to worry about.
Jealousy is counter-productive
But it can sting at some point. They also want to earn more, receive more compliments or have those skills that the other has. They only see one way out and that is to make the other as small as they feel themselves.
Jealousy is not really about the other. Rather, it indicates that someone is not satisfied with themselves. So it is of no use to put the two colleagues, who are not getting along well, together for a good conversation. It is the jealous colleague that you have to look for the problem.
Find the problem
What is it that he or she is so concerned about? There is something the other can or do that stings them. Something they would like to be able to or do themselves. That gives them an unpleasant feeling and they project that on the other. They actually blame the other for their own shortcomings.
These negative feelings can go very far. It can be a real battle. Gossip is thrown around, conflicts arise, the other is ignored or performance is put down or even sabotaged. Of course, this does not help anyone and the working atmosphere is ruined. Collaboration and growth within the team is hard to find.
Use these tips to deal with jealous colleagues:
1. Don’t get carried away in a negative atmosphere
Jealous colleagues may come to another coworker to complain about the colleague they are jealous of. Of course they don’t say this in so many words, but they try to put him or her down with gossip, stories and other negativity.
Don’t get carried away with this and don’t take part. In these types of conversations, just pay close attention to whether you can find the underlying cause with the complaining employees. What exactly is it that is bothering them?
2. Training courses may be of help
One employee is the star in the house, the other sees everything more heavily. Job satisfaction is important for all employees. Because the better they feel, the easier and more flexible they can adapt to all kinds of situations. There are employees who behave excessively responsibly, they will quickly become annoyed by colleagues who, in their opinion, are walking away from it. Conflicts can arise in many ways.
Jealous colleagues will keep a close eye on each other. Will everything be distributed fairly? If he gets a raise, I should get that too. Budget is finite, but resources such as knowledge are plentiful. Maybe these employees should be offered a course to develop themselves and become more widely employable. This probably makes them feel even more appreciated than with a pay rise.
3. Stubborn jealous colleague
Sometimes there is a stubborn jealous colleague who is not open to reason. Whatever you try, it doesn’t seem to work. Addressing him or her about it and discussing the situation does not seem to help. Despite the fact that you have confronted this employee with the facts several times, the situation is not getting any better.
If you have really tried in vain several times to positively put this employee in the team, it is not a matter of not being able to, but of not wanting to. And if someone doesn’t want to, there’s little you can do about it.
Perhaps there is a place within the company where this employee is better at his or her place. A stubborn jealous colleague is not an asset to your team. Certain people can drain all the energy from a team, a jealous type is one of them.
4. Pay attention to the signals
The sooner you notice jealous behavior from a colleague, the easier it is to do something about it. In this way you prevent jealousy from getting worse and causing problems in the workplace. If you pick up on signs of jealousy, respond immediately. Compliment the colleague if he or she has done something well, and be modest – in general, but certainly to this colleague – about your own performance.
5. Don’t be tempted to gossip
It makes sense to be frustrated by your coworker’s jealous behavior, but don’t show it to your other coworkers. This conflict is something between the two of you, you don’t want it to grow into a bigger problem that also involves others. Plus, gossip would only aggravate the other person if he or she heard you talk about it with others. Instead, stay positive, don’t brag about your own work, and be happy for other colleagues when they are successful.
6. Respond professionally and sincerely
Obviously, you should not accept insults or unfounded lies from your jealous colleague. But remain professional at all times, especially if you address your colleague about his or her statements. Calmly explain that his or her comments are annoying or inappropriate and why. You will see that other colleagues respect you even more because you approach things in a polite way. Plus, chances are your jealous coworker will feel caught and embarrassed, and will think twice before attacking you again out of jealousy.
7. Stay alert
Jealousy can provoke extreme reactions in people. A colleague who takes every opportunity to sabotage your work is obviously going too far. If your attempts to discuss this with him or she failed, keep doing your work and gather evidence of every attempt to bring you down. This gives you concrete evidence when you discuss the situation with your own manager or HR.
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