Treating your employees fairly seems like such a simple thing. And yet, research suggests that the day-to-day demands and stress of management often make doing the right thing anything but easy.
Studies also reveal, however, that employees who are treated fairly feel respected and valued, and as a result, are more productive and loyal and are more likely to stay and grow in your company.
Not only will your employees respect you and believe in you more as a leader; by treating them fairly, you’ll also be fostering a culture where your employees will treat each other with fairness and respect.
In fact, being a fair manager is the cornerstone to creating a positive company culture that will retain the best talent. With that in mind, here are seven proven strategies that will help you to become the fairest of them all.
Don’t Play Favourites
One of the quickest ways of being viewed as unfair is by having different standards for different team members, which becomes especially apparent when some team members are allowed certain benefits that others are not. This approach can particularly backfire if poor performers are allowed to slide.
A fair manager does not play favourites. Regardless of how you might personally feel about certain employees, you should never let personal bias get in the way of your professional decision making.
Don’t Confuse Equal With Fair
Just remember that equal and fair are two different things; while you should treat everyone fairly, this will look different depending on who you are dealing with. Treating everyone equally doesn’t equate to treating everyone fairly.
The important thing to consider is that every employee is unique; they all have different work ethics, styles, skill sets, responsibilities and goals. For example, you might have two employees in the same role, but with very different attitudes and work ethics. If employee A works very hard, consistently going above and beyond, while employee B simply works to meet the quota, should they be treated exactly the same?
If they are treated equally, employee A might start to resent the lack of recognition for all her hard work and lose motivation and interest in your company. Whereas if they were treated fairly, employee A would receive an increase in pay, a promotion or some other kind of recognition, which would serve as an incentive to employee B. Equal is not fair.
Be A Role Model
If you want to be viewed as fair, you can’t just talk the talk; you also have to walk the walk.
Employees want and need a leader who not only achieves great things but who embodies great ideals. If you set the bar high for your staff, you have to set the bar even higher for yourself.
Applying rules equally to everyone means applying them to yourself, as well. You have to model the behaviour you want to see in your team. If they see that you don’t practice what you preach, they’ll not only lose respect for you; they’ll not respect the rules or values of the company.
By focusing on the big picture and demonstrating the highest values, others will admire and respect you as a true leader. Remember, if you teach through your actions and model the behaviour of “fairness” in the workplace, others will follow your lead.
Give Your Employees A Voice
The positive impact of having open communication and feedback from your team cannot be understated.
As with being a role model, if you want to encourage open communication among your team, you have to take the time to listen to your employees’ concerns and be accessible. This means more than just having an open–door policy. Make sure your colleagues know that you’re always available.
In addition to fostering open communication between you and your employees, you should implement and encourage employee feedback. Giving your employees a voice and acting on their feedback and concerns will establish you as a fair and caring manager.
Be Open & Honest
Another aspect of fostering open communication is modelling what this looks like with your staff. If you say what you mean and mean what you say, your employees will always know what to expect from you and where they stand with you.
Being open and honest with your staff means telling them why a specific procedure was put in place or explaining the rationale behind difficult decisions or changes.
When you are honest with your employees, you are treating them fairly; it also shows that you respect and value them.
Treat Everyone With Dignity and Respect
When in doubt, stick with the golden rule: treat everyone as you would like to be treated. Remember, employees do not leave jobs; they leave bad managers.
If you want the respect of your employees, you must show them respect in turn. This means valuing and respecting the dignity of each member on your team.
Deception, manipulation, micromanagement, and undermining employee efforts will only lead to distrust and disgruntlement among your team; without honesty and trust, there can be no mutual respect.
Recognise Employee Contributions
Praise and recognition are two tenets of good management and gaining the respect of your staff. Showing genuine appreciation for a job well done is one of the best ways to build a strong following of admiration.
When someone does great work, makes a good suggestion, or makes a positive contribution to the team’s success, a fair manager provides positive feedback and finds a reason to celebrate.
Employees appreciate sincere and specific recognition of their contributions and achievements. Effectively recognising your team members will not only increase their sense of belonging in your company, but it will also increase their commitment to their role, resulting in a happier and more productive employee.
JobFitts Consultants are a specialist provider of professional Recruitment Services for the Financial Services sector and related suppliers in Australia. Since 2003 we have recruited and placed a breadth of operational roles at all levels from HR, Accounting, Marketing and Customer Service/Frontline.
To find out more visit our website at JobFitts here or call us on (02) 9220 3595 or email here.