our everyday life

How to Manage Jealous Coworkers

by Johnny Kilhefner

Jealousy is a difficult emotion to deal with because it isn't always clear why or even whether it's taking place. However, when it does become clear that one worker is jealous of the other, managers must take steps to deal with the problem. To be effective, you must open the lines of communication with workers and foster solutions that both sides can accept.

Meet Individually

If you spot jealousy in the office, it's time to meet individually with the people lobbing the accusations or complaints. First, make sure that what the coworkers say does constitute jealousy. Next, decide on whether or not it is a hindrance to their productivity and well-being. If necessary, make changes to workplace schedules or duties so the employees in question don't have to spend as much time together, or rearrange the work space so they are no longer near each other.

Meet Both Employees

Get both employees in a room together and try to hash out whatever is causing the jealousy. If needed, bring in a human resources representative. It is important to get to the bottom of what is causing one employee to be jealous, such as favorable treatment to one over the other. Show the employee that if the other employee does receive favorable treatment, it might be due to the quality of his work. Remind the employee of what he can do to receive the same kind of treatment.

Take Disciplinary Action

Make it clear to the jealous employee that disciplinary action will be taken if his jealousy continues to affect productivity in the workplace. Explain to the second employee that he, too, will face disciplinary action if he reacts with hostility to his co-worker's jealousy. Tell them you will see them in your office in two weeks to 30 days to see if any change in their behavior has been made.

Nip It In The Bud

Employ meditative services in the workplace that co-workers can use to iron out issues with each other. Take a clear stance on jealousy. Create a training seminar that makes sure the employees know the signs to look for in jealous co-workers, or when they become jealous themselves without realizing it.

About the Author

Johnny Kilhefner is a writer with a focus on technology, design and marketing. Writing for more than five years, he has contributed to Writer's Weekly, PopMatters, Bridged Design and APMP, among many other outlets.

Photo Credits

  • Jupiterimages/Goodshoot/Getty Images