There are several definitions for a fair workplace; the base to it remains the same – A company that ensures that their practices & processes are balanced and every employee is treated right. The fundamentals of a fair workplace begin with equality; every employee must be given an equal opportunity in the organization irrespective of their background or gender. Remuneration should also be defined purely on the basis of the work undertaken by the employee; this will help in establishing parity across levels and employees.
Furthermore, processes at the organization should be objective and the focus should strictly be on performance, employee development and success of the individual as well as the organization.
The most important fundamental of all is to understand that money is not the only driving factor. Compensation plays a big role in shaping the employees desire to work, though beyond that employees are far more motivated when they believe they are adding value to the organization. The organization has to communicate regularly with employees in respect to their business aims and objectives – updating them on new mandates, clients, changes, initiatives and future plans – in order to give them the assurance that their contribution to the organization matters. Also, every organization should have a quarterly Recognition and Reward policy, where there is an acknowledgement and appreciation of the top performers of the company on a consistent basis.
“A fair workplace is transparent and communicates its decisions openly. Also, it is not just about the communication of what decision has been made but why & how was it made. Sharing and communicating the criteria, standards, progress, and results is an intuitive yet vastly underestimated process. It becomes even more important for the processes like performance appraisal and rewards & recognition. Managers need to be honest and genuine while explaining the reasons for the decisions taken and why things are done the way they are. Considering everyone equal and treating them with respect irrespective of differences in education, experience, gender, caste etc. is fundamental to establish a fair workplace.” Says Achal Khanna, CEO, SHRM India.
Fair workplaces also demonstrate zero tolerance for any unfair practice or action. Withholding information, stealing credit etc. might seem trivial misdemeanours but discouraging them goes a long way in establishing fairness and trust. Creating platforms to blow the whistle on unfair actions is an easy MO for workplaces to establish their seriousness about being fair. But these platforms are only successful when employees could see that they will be taken seriously and grievances followed with an action.” Added Ms.Khanna
N.Shivakumar, Business Head- RPO, TeamLease Services says “The organisation which cares for its employees is the one which has the least employee attrition rate. Work life balance has become an important factor for employees. Companies these days are putting their focus on providing ample care for their employees. There are organisations which organise free SPA inside their office for employees. The employers also need to be very clear in their directives on the goals and aspirations; an employee’s failing cannot and should not be measured against their achievements. This will cause disappointment to the employee and their growth as well the organization’s growth will be stunted. With these fundamental aspects well designed and implemented the equality and fairness in an organisation will prevail and propel the organisational growth.”
We believe every organization should also have Ombudsperson Cell practice which means an organization should have an official grievance/complaint management cell wherein equal chance is being given to each employee to raise their issues. Organization needs to ensure a timely resolution to employee’s grievances/complaints for smooth functioning of the organization.
The above mentioned fundamentals need to be imbibed in the culture of the organization which can only happen if there is a buy-in across levels. Focusing on creating practices & processes which are based on ensuring fairness at a workplace will in turn help the employer in building trust amongst its employees. Fair & transparent processes can further reduce the concerns, allowing the focus to shift on creating a more rewarding & productive structure throughout the organization.