Avoid Envy

German managers are careful not praise too often for fear that some team members could feel disadvantaged. Praise of a team member can quickly lead to envy, which in turn threatens team cohesion. A bonus awarded for good performance often leads to other team members claiming unfairness.

Furthermore, Germans do not feel comfortable working in an atmosphere of peer competition. German top performers would rather do without the praise and the bonus in order to safeguard a cooperative working relationship with their colleagues.

Envy: irritation, anger in response to the success of others; to crave for, to want what the other has in terms of material wealth, status, good health, attractive physical appearance.

Germans also believe that success of a team is often difficult to attribute to the performance of certain members. Praise in front of the team or any kind of reward can lead to an embittered discussion about how performance is defined and measured. Germans believe that it is too easy to mistakenly praise one colleague for work results produced by another. A feeling of unfairness, of injustice can arise quickly.