“Fairness For All” in the Workplace

What does it take for everyone in the workplace to experience fairness? Everyone in the workplace should receive…

  • Fair treatment
  • Fair job and career growth opportunities
  • Fair pay

Anyone in the workplace could be mistreated by a woman or man who is in a leadership role. “Fairness For All” is not a black and white thing, or a female and male thing, or an old and young person thing. “Fairness For All” is about people in positions of authority consistently doing what is right, fair, and just for each person they are responsible for leading, regardless of the person’s race, ethnicity, age, religion, sexual orientation, or socioeconomic status.

Both female and male leaders in work environments can be corrupt and crass, subjecting people to gratuitous behaviors. Women and men in leadership roles are capable, some are already culpable, of misusing their power—misconduct that includes workplace bullying, sexual harassment, discrimination, retaliation, defamation, body shaming, creating hostile working environments, and favoritism. Unbecoming behavior could be predicated from anything—jealousy, envy, insecurities, low self-worth, arrogance, entitlement, greed, hate, prejudices, racism—causing them to inflict iniquities on others whom they are responsible for leading.

Take workplace bullying for example. When children are bullied, they are encouraged to get adults involved to help. It’s the opposite when grown-ups are bullied in the workplace. Adults are expected to take it or quit.  When adults speak out they are usually punished or retaliated against—scrutinized, demoted, threatened, defamed, or fired.

Any type of misconduct or unfairness unleashed by feckless leaders can negatively impact people (workers) and the organization. People are not able to perform efficiently. Their stress levels are higher.  Morale drops. Talented people are held back. People’s true talent that could help make a difference remain unrevealed, untapped, and underutilized. Fact is, many people just want to be able to work so they can provide for themselves and their families, not to be mistreated.

While everyone should not receive the exact same pay, they should receive fair pay. For example, salary ranges are transparent when fair pay exists. That’s because there might be a starting base pay for each role. Then, additional money is added to that base pay depending on people’s: years of experience, higher education, certifications, and specialized skills. If organizations have nothing to hide, what reason wouldn’t they make salary ranges for each role visible to all?

All people in the workplace deserve fair opportunities to do their best work and to grow their career in an impartial work environment, where everyone: is respected, held accountable for their performance (quality of work and professionalism), and is able to gain exposure so their talents can be utilized to positively impact the bottom line. When people are able to perform at their highest level, they and the organization thrive.

So what does it take for everyone in the workplace to experience fairness?

  • Character, Integrity, and Responsibility of leaders: Starting at the top with executives/highest senior position, any person in a leadership role has the duty to consistently do and should be held accountable for doing what is right, fair, and just while in the workplace to ensure fairness for all.
  • Values and Beliefs of leaders: The personal core values of people in positions of authority should align with the Core Values of their organization.
  • Self-awareness and Ownership of all: Everyone, including people in positions of authority, are accountable for self-awareness and self-correcting to prevent the initiation of misconduct.
  • Enforcement and Improvement: People who are responsible for enforcing rules and company policy, such as human resources, are responsible for taking reported cases of mistreatment seriously, and for designing and implementing sustainable changes and improvements to prevent like or similar incidents from reoccurring.
  • Inveterate leadership effectiveness: Effective leaders (the ones who consistently effectuate positive differences and change) are solution-focused and do the right thing. They care and listen for understanding. They welcome uncomfortable topics. They find common ground through transparency. They take ownership for ensuring that the right thing is done. Their enduring solutions are for the betterment of each person they are responsible for leading and for their organization.

What do you think it takes for everyone in the workplace to experience fairness?


~ Evette “EJay” Johnson

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