Equality, fairness and impartiality are a vital part of a successful organization. A diverse workplace is a mix of various cultures, attitudes, perspectives, skills and ideas, hence arises the need for appreciation and respect for difference. This difference is to be nurtured in a way that leads to growth. To respect, balance and relish this difference, it becomes inevitable to practice equality across the organization.
The Equity Theory states that when employees compare themselves to their coworkers and find the results to be fair, they are more motivated. On other hand, if the comparison with coworkers seems unequal or unfair, they are less motivated. Thus, the essence of the Equity Theory is motivation through perceived fairness. This theory is an important tool for assessing employee satisfaction – say a dedicated hardworking employee believes that she is being paid a fair salary and then one fine day she realizes that she is rather the least paid among her team, this will definitely affect her motivation, lower her morale which shall also hamper her productivity, resulting in a drastic impact on the whole team.
Equal opportunity is about addressing representation and balance among all the processes and all sectors of service. Within an organization, equality is to be embraced right from the topmost management to the lower most roles. Equality in simple words would mean offering fair, equal and courteous opportunities to all individuals, building an atmosphere where people of all backgrounds and experience feel appreciated and valued. It is defined as treating everyone in the same manner, regardless of their differences. Whether this difference is a person’s age, race, sex, sexual orientation, religion, national origin or physical disability, they are entitled to be held in the same esteem as any of their coworkers. The best way to practice equality at all levels is to understand, appreciate and value all staff members’ different sets of skills and abilities, and utilize their differences for the best of organizational results.
Many organizations have their own equal opportunities policy. These policies are designed to prevent certain biased employment situations, such as:
- Male employees being paid more than female colleagues, at the same role
- Interviews being conducted only for candidates of a particular race, gender or age
- A person with a physical disability not being able to get a job in an organization due to, for example, a lack of wheelchair access.
- New roles not being advertised internally.
- Employers allowing extra holidays for staff from one particular religion, but not from others.
- Employees being overlooked for promotion because of their gender, race, religion or physical disability.
The three major areas at a workplace where we witness drastic discrimination are –
Recruitment – Companies must follow strict procedures for recruitment to make sure that all applications are treated appropriately and fairly, and that nobody is rejected because of their race, gender, religion or any other discriminatory reason. Each candidate must be evaluated against the same criteria and all candidates ought to be given equal opportunities to prove themselves.
Pay – Under the laws of equality, no employee should be paid any more or any less than any one of their colleagues at the same role, due to their age, gender, religion, nationality or any other discriminatory reason. However, there are various other legitimate factors that might vary the pay scale between 2 employees at the same role, such as one’s work experience, qualifications etc. Having said that, it should be made sure that these differences are justifiable and not biased.
Promotion – Equal opportunities for promotion should always be made available to all and no employee should be restricted from promotional opportunities because of their colour of skin, religion, gender or any other discriminatory reason. It must be a part of the company’s equal opportunities policy to ensure that discussions and one – to– one’s are a regular process wherein, employees can talk about their career growth map and ask for any training and support, should they wish to progress into more senior roles in the company.
Companies practicing equality perform better, attract the best talent because of transparency, and experience higher levels of productivity and competitiveness. It also keeps the workforce satiated, reduces the stress levels and discourages rivalry or jealousy, spreading healthy competition. Leave your thoughts in the comments below as to what do you think about promoting equality all across the organization.
Until Next Time!