Fair treatment is a key principle that every organization should live by. Whether it is in the workplace, at school, or in any other environment, favoritism can often cause tension and jealousy. This, in turn, can lead to disputes that distract from the organization’s objectives and thus negatively affect productivity.
In recent years, many companies have transitioned to remote work, especially during the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. As this trend becomes more common, it’s important to continue to ensure that all workers in an organization are treated fairly.
What Does ‘Fair Treatment’ Mean?
Before discussing the various reasons fair treatment is critical in professional settings, everyone should understand the difference between fair treatment and equality. When people talk about “equality” in the workplace, they are generally referring to issues such as guaranteeing equal pay for all employees who perform the same duties within an organization , regardless of gender, race, or other similar characteristics.
“Fair treatment,” on the other hand, relates to the idea of dealing with all of your company’s workers in a just manner. For example, if one of your employees consistently completes all of her weekly tasks more efficiently than a male colleague with the same job title but does not receive a promotion or even greater recognition than this co-worker, she may feel like she is treated unfairly and lose motivation to stay with your organization.
Creating A Fair And Engaging Employee Experience
There are multiple ways of helping your business’s workers feel that they are (and will continue to be) treated fairly. One of the first things you can do is clearly outline your expectations to all workers, first in general terms and then more specifically. What is the minimum each employee should accomplish? You can also offer your workers rewards for going above and beyond in their performance (e.g., promotion, pay increase).
Fair treatment should also apply to punishment for poor-quality or incomplete work. If two employees make the same mistake once, there is no reason one should be reprimanded more severely than the other. (If one employee repeatedly makes the same error, a harsher punishment may be warranted.) Also, be sure to always use workplace appropriate language when reprimanding or offering feedback to workers. As easy as it may be to adopt casual practices when working remotely, you should always speak to employees in a professional manner. Failure to do this may reflect poorly on your organization and discourage people from joining it.
You should also be equally attentive to all workers in terms of answering their questions. If one worker says she is satisfied with the promptness with which you respond to her emails, whereas another employee claims you take several days to answer him, the latter worker may potentially view this as unfair treatment. No employee should ever feel ignored for any reason.
Ultimately, it’s important for you to be consistent in how you treat employees in every situation (positive or negative) and to always have open and clear communication with all of them. This alone may have a greater impact on your employee retention rate than you might imagine. According to a 2018 report by management consulting company Robert Half, 12% of workers claim they would quit their job because they don’t feel appreciated. It’s especially important to keep this in mind considering how popular telecommuting has become. A 2018 survey by Robert Half revealed that 77% of workers said they would be more likely to accept a job offer if the position included the possibility of working remotely at least some of the time.
Speak To The Experts At HR Search & Rescue
Reach out to the professionals at HR Search & Rescue for more information on fair treatment in the workplace and how to ensure you provide this as you transition to remote work. We are an independent HR consulting firm dedicated to helping employees, employers, and human resources professionals with a variety of workplace issues, including fair treatment, conflicts, and safety concerns.
By collaborating with a third-party HR consultant, you can trust them to handle your situation in an efficient and non-combative way. Our consultants are highly familiar with the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA), which protects employees from unfair treatment in the workplace. This federal law outlines standards regarding equal pay for equal work, reasonable vacation and leave, and accommodations for employees with disabilities, among other things. If you believe you are being treated unfairly at work, you should document how your colleagues or supervisor(s) treat you and first try to resolve the matter internally. If that fails, HR Search & Rescue will assist you.