Nepotism is the act or practice of favoring a family member, and it can cause discord in your company's ranks if that favoritism is unwarranted. If you work in a company where management is littered with wives and husbands, sons and fathers, or you sit across the aisle from the boss's daughter, you may wonder how nepotism will affect your career. The first step is to recognize the types of nepotism that commonly cause problems in the workplace.
When the boss expects you to be at work on time and yet her son shows up routinely late and nothing is said about it, nepotism may be in play. When family members are held to a lower set of standards than other employees in the same position, it makes other employees feel devalued. Employees may use the treatment of the family member as an excuse to lower their own standards.
If you are in line for a promotion only to find out the owner's wife is being brought in to fill the position, your heart may break just a little. After all, you put in all that hard work and all she did was marry the owner. This may or may not be nepotism, depending on whether the wife is actually better qualified for the position. Try to give the benefit of a doubt until you know for sure.
The perks of the job are those little things that make it all worthwhile. You might like to have company credit cards, expense accounts and company cars. You can't blame an uncle for wanting to make the way easier for his nephew unless you are doing the same job, maybe even better, and you are still racking miles up on your personal vehicle while working on a shoestring budget.
Keep in mind that family members working in the same place does not automatically lead to nepotism. Many employers recognize the problems nepotism causes in the workplace and bend over backwards to ensure family members are both qualified and willing to work just as hard as the rest of the employees. Before judging family members too harshly, give them a chance to prove their worth. You may be pleasantly surprised.