Being buddies with the boss may result in less cash at holiday time, USA Today reports.
That’s the unexpected finding of a new survey that discovered employers are more likely to skip over their friends to reward staffers they’re not close to in order to prevent perceptions of favoritism.
“Unlike what we normally think about managers … in some situations they’re actually biased against their friends,” says Shoham Choshen-Hillel, a business administration professor at Hebrew University of Jerusalem, who co-authored the report published in the Journal of Experimental Social Psychology with assistant professors at UCLA and the University of Chicago.
A key factor in such decisions is whether the reward process is public—if the staff knows what the perk is, the manager making the decision, and who ultimately gets the bonus or gift.
“So if you have just one ticket for a show to give to an employee, and there are two equally deserving, in private, the manager would give the ticket to their friends,” Choshen-Hillel says. “However, if they know the decision is public, many of them would give it to the non friend or the stranger.’’
That’s the case even if the manager’s friend is slightly more deserving.