Fair treatment is a hot topic in the business world currently as more and more organizations are under pressure to provide a better workplace culture for employees. Treating employees fairly in the workplace is beneficial for more than just those that are based on moral guidance; it can also create more trust, transparency, and maximize the overall productivity and innovation that your business is capable of. By committing to creating a culture of fair and equal treatment, you can enhance the reputation of your organization while attracting and retaining top talent.
Where To Start
While it seems pretty straightforward, creating a fair workplace requires a real commitment to the guiding principles of fair treatment.
Let’s dive straight in:
Clearly Explain Expectations
A great place to start with this process is by ensuring that employees at all levels understand the expectations of fairness across the organization. If you want a well-functioning workplace, then you need to ensure that you explain these concepts as simply and clearly as possible. When doing so, try to avoid using popular buzzwords that may be difficult to understand for someone who did not attend that conference you learned it at.
According to many business leaders, fair treatment of employees in the workplace starts with senior leadership rewarding managers for fair and just treatment of the employees they hire, train, and supervise. By clearly explaining the meaning of fairness and by leading through example, you can start to cultivate a new and more fair culture.
Understand Equality vs. Equity
Another important piece of information to clearly understand is the difference between equality and equity. While equality and treating everyone the same can be well-intentioned, it can also lead to a suppression of overall fairness. For example, there are regulations in place that require certain employees (such as those with disabilities) to be treated with certain criteria in mind compared to other employees.
For this reason, it is important to strive for equity over equality. This can help you create a fair workplace that believes in treating every person as an individual with the same capabilities and unique characteristics as the next. No one employee is the same, so they should not be treated as such. But they should be treated with equal enthusiasm and respect.
Favoritism is an easy trap to fall into in a competitive workplace environment. Most often, the inconsistent enforcement of policies across different levels will lead to favoritism and a likely unhappy workforce. When employees are witnessing other employees receive benefits even though they know they work just as hard, morale is sure to all but disappear. What you will be left with is a passive workforce that is only present for a paycheck.
Fair and consistent treatment of employees requires that codes of conduct be administered without prejudice of any kind. The Society for Human Resource Management indicates that employees are more likely to accept the consequences of disciplinary action and make an effort to improve their behavior if they trust that there is fairness in the process.
How To Understand What Your Employees Want
The key is to get to know your employees, so you understand what they want and what motivates them. Each employee is an individual with their own set of unique skills that requires a direct and targeted management strategy. The key to fair treatment is consistent treatment. This does not mean the same treatment, but the same effort towards understanding for each employee.
An easy way to do this is to make sure you are having one-on-one meetings with employees regularly in order to get to know them better. Too many group meetings can make more introspective employees feel left out and can leave you with valuable employees that aren’t being properly utilized.
Due to these reasons, fairness may be the new buzzword in the business world, as it is just as important (if not more important) than “equality” in the workplace. Follow these guidelines to create a work environment that cultivates a culture of fairness across the organization.
Speak With An Independent HR Consultant
HR Search and Rescue is a full-service HR consulting company. Their professional consultants work alongside clients and specialize in solving even the most difficult modern workplace challenges. Speak with one of our professional consultants to learn more about how to provide fair treatment to employees in the workplace.