The Trio That Reduce Conflict
Equal, equitable, and fair are all terms used when describing the treatment employees expect from employers. Does this mean they are interchangeable? Not at all! In fact they are different and should be used according to the results employers are looking to attain. Why is this important to know? Because achieving the right treatment makes all the difference in an organization’s success.
In the increasing landscape of diversity/inclusion, equal, equitable, and fair treatment provide the foundation needed to ignite the passion, dedication, loyalty, and engagement of an entire organization. How do CEOs, Business Owners, leaders, and managers use them? Equitable to fair and equitable to equal.
First, each of these must be clearly defined so there is no confusion. Equitable means just or fair. Equal is the same. Fair is treating people in a way that does not favor some over others.
Equitable treatment is optimal for the success of any organization and is used to create awesome work environments so everyone feels part of the business. All leaders must strive to attain this level using policies, procedures and strategies as a path to create the most engaged employees. Engaged employees are consistent in high productivity.
Equal treatment is misleading and appears to be what everyone wants to receive. Equal treatment alludes to the best treatment because everyone seems the same. However, equal means that no matter how talented, professional, or skilled an employee is, they are just that — all the same. For example, an outstanding employee, rarely tardy, comes in to work about 10 minutes late and is treated the same as another employee who is regularly tardy, more than 15 minutes each time. Is this the best way to handle the situation? No. If they are treated equally how is that fair? Lazy leaders who care less about their employees only create an environment that breeds contempt by excellent employees. All employees should be held accountable for their actions based on their own personal actions not based on others’ actions.
Fair treatment causes some work environments to be continuously highly productive, creative, display foresight, and much more. Employees know that they are being judged on their merits not their associations or their demographics. However, fair treatment is sometimes misused by leaders, managers, or fellow co-workers, resulting in “equal” treatment. Using the example above, when the stellar employee is treated the same way as the borderline employee, the employee might believe he/she is being treated unfairly and that race or ethnicity is to blame.
There is no direct link between fair and equal. That’s because they are diametrically opposed. CEOs, Business Owners, leaders and managers must demonstrate they understand the three through word, action, and support. Equitable, equal, and fair are definitely important to an organizations’ phenomenal success.
Tresté Loving is a Global Market Consultant. She helps maneuver organization’s through this virtual, diverse, dynamic, global market to achieve phenomenal success. She’s also a trusted adviser and confidant to CEO’s and Business Owners. Visit her website: www.trestelovingconsulting.com to check her other services that are customized to fit your organization’s needs. You can also contact her at firstname.lastname@example.org.