Fairness is a tricky part of the employee engagement puzzle – because my perception of fairness is probably different than yours and no two people think alike.
When an associate says that the schedule is not fair, that means it is not fair to that associate, but others at work with the exact same schedule may disagree. It all boils down to our perception…remember your perception is your reality and my perception is my reality. One must tread lightly until you have a very good relationship with your team. Once you have built that relationship, you will understand the differences between each employee.
Most fairness issues are not created on purpose – they come from a lack of understanding. Going back to the schedule issue mentioned above; If you have an employee that needs certain days off and those are granted, when you are unable to grant the same to another employee, that will be viewed as unfair. I am pretty sure most of us have encountered this issue on occasions.
Favoritism or what I refer to as the ‘F’ word in teams is like a dose of poison to everyone.
This is the pinnacle of being unfair as far as I am concerned. Again, favoritism is not necessarily created on purpose…most of us create relationships at different levels and this can be viewed as having a favorite. If the person that you have a more robust relationship with gets something that others don’t, it will most certainly be viewed as favoritism. This “something” could be as minor as a conversation or as major as weekends off…back to the schedule.
The best way to avoid favoritism is to step back and evaluate your relationships within your team. If you find that you could be “tipping” in favor of one or more employees, you can fix that issue by giving more to the other members of the team.
For example, in a hotel setting…I really like to see leaders walking around and meeting people within their department of responsibility. It gives them the ability to connect with all members of their team and learn from them…and it is hard for someone to point a finger at management when a leader just spent 20 minutes helping someone make beds or clean toilets.