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 career growth opportunities
  • Fair pay

Anyone in the workplace could be: mistreated by a woman or man who is in a leadership role, prevented from getting a job/excelling in their career, or underpaid. “Fairness For All” is not a black and white thing (colorism), or a female and male thing (genderism), or an old and young person thing (ageism). “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 (fairness for Allism).

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. Unfortunately, adult bullies sometimes go unpunished, leaving them to further subject malevolent behavior onto others.

And when we think about fair pay, some people think equal pay. Equal pay makes sense when people who perform the same role have the same level/years of experience and/or education. Fair pay here means: pay ranges for roles that are transparent and objective—based on the level of effort required for the role as set by the organization, then on measurable factors, such as higher education, years of experience, level of expertise, and exams, regardless of gender, race, or likability. What is there to hide or dispute when pay is fair?

Any type of misconduct or inequity 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.

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 positions, 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, specifically while in a working environment.
  • 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, take reported cases of mistreatment seriously. They show that behavior unbecoming of management is categorically unacceptable and will not be allowed. These enforcers are better able to ensure that individuals in positions of power are held accountable for their wrongdoing, and implement sustainable programs to prevent the same or similar incidents from reoccurring when they choose to do the right thing upon discovering misconduct.
  • Inveterate leadership effectiveness: Starting at the top, effective leaders (the ones who consistently effectuate positive differences and change) are solution-focused, do the right thing, and remain a staid representation of their organization’s Core Values. They have character and integrity. They care and listen for understanding. They welcome uncomfortable topics, finding common ground through transparency. They encourage diversity (ideas, talents, backgrounds). They take ownership for everything, from looking at themselves first to 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.

All people in the workplace deserve fair opportunities: to produce their best work, to grow their career, and to be unbiasedly compensated in an impartial work environment, where everyone is respected, held accountable, and all work is a value-add to positively impact the bottom line. When people are able to perform at their highest level, they and the organization thrive.

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

#WorkplaceFairnessForAll #EndWorkplaceBullying #EffectiveLeadership

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