How to Treat Employees Fairly in the Workplace

Treating employees fairly will help you avoid being labeled a bad boss.
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Treating employees fairly in the workplace seems simple, until you are the one calling the shots. Take heart, if employee-management relationships were simple, there wouldn’t be bulky manuals dedicated to guiding them. While the human factor guarantees that you will make mistakes, minimizing them is essential.

Step 1

Apply workplace guidelines instead of merely memorizing them. No one will applaud your recall of “subsection B, paragraph 22" of the employee discipline code if you’re in violation of it. Use regulations as they were designed -- to shape your approach to managing employees.

Step 2

Make recommendations based on merit, not friendship. While human resources policies vary, it’s a safe bet that the bonds of sisterhood isn’t a justifiable qualification for promotion. Conversely, bad blood isn’t a reason to pass over a qualified employee. Fairness requires managers put workplace procedures and goals ahead of personal feelings.

Step 3

Put yourself in your co-workers’ shoes. Recalling life as a cubicle-dweller helps you stay grounded. Watch movies about bad bosses and their employee victims if you lack firsthand experience of workplace unfairness. Don’t end up becoming a real-life Miranda Priestly from “The Devil Wears Prada”.

Step 4

Resist the urge to gossip -- even when it’s juicy. Blabbing about the hideous fashion choices of an employee reduces your credibility. It also makes any allegations of bullying and favoritism more believable, regardless of their truth.

Step 5

Get the facts before jumping to conclusions about employees. Observe bad behavior firsthand before pouncing on allegations from others. Jealousy and anger can motivate colleagues to spread half-truths and outright falsities. Avoid being duped into handing down inappropriate punishments or forming hurtful prejudices.

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