Nepotism at work can mean increased opportunity at a job, attaining the job or being paid more than other similarly situated people. Arguments are made both for and against employment granted due to a family connection, which is most common in small, family run businesses. On one hand, nepotism can provide stability and continuity. Critics cite studies that demonstrate decreased morale and commitment from non-related employees, and a generally negative attitude towards superior positions filled through nepotism. An article from Forbes magazine stated “there is no ladder to climb when the top rung is reserved for people with a certain name.” Some businesses forbid nepotism as an ethical matter, considering it too troublesome and disruptive.
Oftentimes, nepotism in the workplace shows up in the form of a leader hiring or promoting someone based solely on favor rather than the individual’s qualifications. Nepotism can be difficult to address, especially if you are an employee who believes a manager may be guilty of such behavior. If you feel a manager’s decisions fall under nepotism, you should bring your concerns to your HR representative. As a leader, to avoid nepotism, you should strive to make decisions based on an individual’s qualifications rather than your relationship with them.