Let us Understand Procedural Fairness through a Case Study

Case Study – Procedural Fairness

Stella was a top-performing employee at her company, but her difficult personality was causing problems among her colleagues. She often made rude comments, rolled her eyes, and pointed out mistakes in staff meetings.

Despite this behavior, her manager didn’t address the issue because she was a high performer, and the company had no policies or procedures in place to deal with rudeness.

When a new CEO was brought on board and discovered Stella’s behavior, she immediately asked HR to step in. However, the lack of policies around rudeness made it difficult to take disciplinary action.

Eventually, the decision was made to terminate Stella’s employment, which she saw as unfair.

This example highlights the importance of procedural fairness in the workplace.

What is Procedural Fairness?

Procedural fairness refers to the idea that employees focus on the procedures followed to make a decision, rather than just the outcome of the decision.

If the right procedure is followed, employees are more likely to perceive a decision as fair, and decision-makers are more likely to make a fair and correct decision.

In Stella’s case, if HR had explained to her that her behavior was against the company’s core values and that she needed to change, she would have had a chance to improve.

HR could have provided resources to help her change and, if she didn’t, they could have followed disciplinary procedures. This approach would have minimized the risk of a lawsuit and given Stella a chance to improve.

Key Takeaway

One key takeaway from this case study is the importance of having clear policies and procedures in place for addressing problematic behavior in the workplace.

By clearly communicating expectations and consequences to employees, companies can minimize the risk of legal issues while also fostering a positive work environment.

Another takeaway is the importance of addressing problematic behavior early on. If Stella’s manager had addressed her behavior when it first started to cause problems, it may have been easier to correct. Waiting until the situation escalated made it more difficult to address and created a perception of unfairness.

Overall, this case study highlights the importance of procedural fairness and clear policies and procedures in the workplace.

By following the right procedures and addressing problematic behavior early on, companies and manager can minimize the risk of legal issues while also fostering a positive work environment.

Go to the fifth chapter: The Importance of Informational Fairness in the Workplace