“Life is unfair”. Perhaps, these words are often heard when one is faced with some kind of misery or misfortune. In a work setting, you might have heard your coworkers say a similar phrase when they are in trouble or not being recognised for doing a great job. In fact, a poll by YouGov revealed that almost 3 in 4 Americans say that life is fairly fair or unfair, while the remaining feel that life is fair. According to the survey, those earning over $80,000 were the most likely to say life was fair, while those below were likely to cite otherwise.
While many people blame unfair salary, workplace fairness is more than that. Various studies highlight that workplace fairness is more about management recognition to employee retention rates. Management should have programs in place to reward and recognize employees through fair measurement systems. When employees witness that they have equal opportunity to be recognized and rewarded by their employer, trust will be cultivated, and fairness in the workplace becomes the norm.
See also: What Is an Effective Workplace?
Although management styles might vary, treating employees fairly should remain constant. Yet, what constitutes fair? According to RISMedia, fairness means treating employees justly and individually, depending on the specific situation and the employee’s participation. This means using good judgment when making decisions regarding your employees. To facilitate fairness in the workplace, there are at least two practices to follow.
Workplace fairness starts with understanding employees. Get to know them and become familiar with the conditions in which they are working. While as their manager, you don’t ever want to pry into their personal lives, getting some insight into their personal challenges will help you see them as a whole person. For instance, if you know one of your employees is going through a hard time at home, you’ll likely be able to understand if their performance at work suffers. Knowing the context in which employees are coming to work every day will help keep your relationships with your employees on good terms.
Listening is one of the easiest ways to make your employees feel valued and promote fairness in the workplace. By knowing that you care about their opinions, employees will feel important and respected. Be consistent in your listening. Don’t listen to some employees and not the others so you can maintain trust with all employees.
Favouritism in the workplace can have a significant effect on employees, as it could result in outcomes like salary bias. Favouritism could also result in unfair workplace practices that result in decreased productivity. Therefore, as a manager, you should not treat employees differently. If some employees come to you and complain, make sure to answer based on cruciality and let other employees know your priority. When all employees in the office are treated fairly, relationships become stronger and eventually, trust will bloom.