Providing fair treatment to all employees in the workplace is a critical step that businesses need to ensure they are employing properly.
As a competitive business, it is essential to establish a reputation of fairness and equality while creating an overall accepting and team-driven atmosphere. Not only that, but ensuring that your employees feel valued and safe within your organization should be a point of pride for every business.
After all, your employees are what make your business possible in the first place, so they should be valued as such!
What is Fair Treatment?
Fair treatment involves ensuring that your employee’s rights are being respected and that each employee is given individualized treatment. Fair treatment is not to be confused with equal treatment.
Being treated fairly does not mean you get treated the same as everyone else; it simply means that employees are treated with the same amount of respect and value as their peers.
One of the main aspects of fair treatment is the right to privacy. Some of the main components of employee privacy include:
- The right to refuse a polygraph or drug test as a condition for employment.
- The right to access employment records. Although federal agencies and only six states have laws regarding this right, over 50 percent of major national companies now have written guidelines for allowing employees access to their personnel files.
- The right to prohibit the release of information regarding the employee to other organizations without the employee’s consent.
Some other critical rights that employees should be guaranteed include:
- The right to specific information regarding company expectations and prohibitions as stated in the employee manual.
- The right to due process procedures, including consistent rules and protocol for issues that arise for each employee.
- The right to a progressive system of discipline, including oral warning, a written warning, suspension, transfer or demotion, and, as a last resort, discharge.
The Right to Fair Treatment
It can be easy for managers and even executives to overlook the dynamic of their workplace and forget to ensure that their space is fair and respectful of each employee’s unique characteristics. Some of the most important workplace rights include:
- The right to equal and impartial treatment regardless of race, religion, sex, age, or disabilities.
- The right to be free of sexual harassment
- The right to notice of future termination or closing
So, how can you ensure that you are creating a great place to work that is inclusive and fair?
First of all, it is important to avoid showing favoritism to any one employee. Every employee should receive the same level of guidance, help, encouragement, and respect as the next.
Promote an employee solely based on how qualified he is to perform the job, not because of a personal relationship. Otherwise, the promotion will appear unfair to other employees and may create tension in the office that can negatively impact productivity.
Another crucial tip is to ensure those in management are trained to be good listeners. Managers can easily get so caught up in being bosses that they forget to listen to and connect with the employees that make their job possible. Unfair treatment includes always ordering and never listening to how employees are feeling.
Treating employees fairly in the workplace is not just a moral responsibility. It is also necessary to ensure maximum company growth. When an employee is treated unfairly, it results in decreased employee morale.
Low morale results in decreased employee productivity. It can also result in high employee turnover. Various studies highlight the importance of workplace fairness to employee retention rates.
Management should have processes in place to reward and recognize employees through fair measurement systems. When every employee sees that they have an opportunity to be recognized and rewarded, trust is cultivated, and fairness in the workplace becomes the norm.
Although management styles may vary, treating employees fairly should be a constant in your managerial training and leadership style.
Wondering how you can create and promote fairness in the workplace? HR Search and Rescue is a Fairfax, VA HR consulting firm that specializes in HR management and employee benefits.
They can help clients with everything from drafting employee handbooks to administering a workplace fairness process. Contact HR Search and Rescue today to discuss any and all of your company’s workplace and HR goals.