In any organization, employees want to be treated fairly. Showing fairness is expected and appreciated from management,  leaders or managers. However, sometimes, despite the best intentions of management, some employees may feel like they are being treated unfairly.

This case study explores how a lack of fairness can impact employee satisfaction and offers tips for creating a positive work environment where employees feel valued.

Case Study- The Scenario

Claire, a receptionist, requested a few extra vacation days without pay to go on a trip with her friends. Her manager denied her request, citing the importance of having her at work. A few months later, Brenda, an accountant, requested an unpaid day off to go on a weekend getaway with her husband, and her manager granted the request. Claire felt this was unfair and was left feeling frustrated and undervalued.

The Impact

If employees perceive that they are being treated unfairly, it can have a negative impact on their job satisfaction, motivation, and commitment to the organization. This can lead to increased turnover and even lawsuits.

The Solution – Showing Fairness

To mitigate feelings of unfairness and create a positive work environment, organizations must prioritize support, respect, and flexibility for their employees.

Here are 7 tips of showing fairness at workplace:

  1. Be Supportive, Pleasant, and Respectful: Employees should feel valued and appreciated in their workplace. A positive and supportive work environment can help employees feel more satisfied and less likely to perceive unfairness.
  2. Be Flexible: If an employee cannot get what they want, it is essential to provide alternatives or offer flexibility. Employees who feel that their needs are being met in other ways will be more likely to see the organization as fair.
  3. Be Diverse: A diverse workforce can help mitigate perceptions of unfairness. A workforce with a variety of backgrounds, skills, and experiences sends a message that everyone is valued equally.
  4. Don’t Play Favorites: All employees should be treated the same, regardless of personal relationships or job performance.
  5. Model the Rules and Behaviors: Leaders must model the behaviors they expect from their employees to be perceived as fair.
  6. Apply the Rules Consistently: Consistency in applying rules is critical. Inconsistency can lead to legal trouble and perceived unfairness.
  7. Be Honest and Transparent: When saying no, provide an explanation. Employees appreciate transparency and honesty from management.

Conclusion – Showing Fairness is Managerial Success

A positive and happy workplace can lead to positive and happy employees. By providing support, flexibility, diversity, and consistent rules, organizations can create a fair and equitable work environment.

As a leader, it is your role to ensure that employees feel valued, appreciated, and supported. By doing so, you can help reduce perceptions of unfairness and create a positive and productive workplace.

Go to the third chapter: The Importance of Distributive Fairness in the Workplace