How To Express Being Hurt By Bonus to Teammates

Question to Ask the Workplace Doctors about not being rewarded: I am against bonuses for these reasons, but I think if one does them, the team approach is best.

A big project went on. Lots of work was done. I was not asked to be part of the project. A new employee with the same job title as mine, was. I have helped train her thus far and she has only been here three months. I am not mad at her of course, but I am resentful of the situation Anyway, our boss comes into the room and gives spot bonuses to two employees and I suspect everyone directly on the project.(Mind you I can hear this, I don’t think she knew I was there, or maybe she disregarded it)

Well, one I wasn’t asked and two, aren’t I still part of the team backing them up doing the work they are not doing while they are working on this project? Also, why not make me happy instead of resentful? I am against bonuses for these reasons, but I think if one does them, the team approach is best. I do understand extra work was put in, but they also get extra rewards in that the project was fun and neat to do. I don’t know how to view this. Thanks as always for your time

Signed, Feeling Slighted

DearĀ Feeling Slighted:

It does sound like there are some unfair things going on there. I can also see that there is some guessing on your part as to the reasons and choices that were made. Does your workplace have any regular evaluations, such as quarterly or semi-annually? It’s reasonable to raise such issues and questions at that time. If not, and you are on good terms with your boss or supervisor, maybe you could ask several questions about all this. Things like, what was the basis for deciding who got a bonus? You were wondering why you didn’t receive one, aren’t you part of the team too?

I’ve seen lots of these team problems before where the team is really only a collections of workers. This is not a true team where people work together, where there is open communication and collaboration and where the boss is a team member and works with everyone, etc.

But you don’t have to be left in the dark. You will probably have to take some initiative, though. You will have to be the one to ask questions to get to the bottom of the situation. And it’s okay to let your boss know that you feel left out and resentful. Good luck!

Getting to WEGO requires good communication.

Steve Carney Second Opinion: When possible, we sometimes are able to send a second opinion. With the work place increasingly moving more toward the team-based model, it is common these days to be put into multiple work teams. Many of us are on several projects simultaneously on any given moment. With the adoption of the team-based model, it can be tricky for every single team member and even those outside of the team to be harmonious at all times.

One of the most common types of conflict is relational, where one team member has conflict with another member.This type of conflict is also the most detrimental for group performance and most likely morale.The good news is that you don’t seem to be having relational conflicts with your coworkers. It sounds like you are miffed that

1) you were not part of the team for the large-scale project and 2) were not given the reward even though you were not “picked” to be on the team. Addressing the first point, It is understandable that you feel left out, given that it was a large-scale project. But there might be factors you could not control that lead to your coworker with the same title to be chosen over you for this particular project. S/he might have some specific skills that you might not necessarily have that could been beneficial to the project, s/he might have directly asked to be on the project, or your manager might have felt that it was time for her/him to be part of sizable project.

Instead of focusing on a project that has been completed, focus on the next project by enhancing your current skill-set, speaking with your manager about your skills and how they can benefit future projects (whether large or small) and keep doing a better-than-expected job on your current tasks. Consistent good work does not usually go unnoticed.

2. On the second point, it sounds a tad bit like the “if I can’t have it, no one else should” mentality. Even though you were not part of the project team, you mentioned that those who were part of the team worked hard and put in a lot of effort. If you put in so much time and effort into a project that is successful, you will most likely appreciate extra reward in addition to feeling good about your work. Your coworkers probably feel the same way and probably appreciate management’s appreciation of their hard work.

Of course the company needs other people to do work outside of this particular project, but try to feel happy for your coworkers who pulled off a successful project through lots of sweat and blood. It sounds like your company has a sensible management that appreciates the work of its people. This is great news and you should celebrate with your coworkers because one day soon you may be the one with the bonus.

Nancy Lam and Steve Carney, Guest Respondents