Drawing the Line In Being Fair

Drawing the Line In Being Fair

Are you the “soft” boss who always wants to be fair? Do your employees respect you for your fairness? Have you ever struggled with being too fair?

Fairness is definitely not a bad practice as an employer. If you treat everyone the same, there are no questions of favouritism. So, if it is not a bad practice, why would we draw a line?

There are occasions where personal situations are different. If an employee requested time off to care for their dying grandmother who raised them from birth, and you decided not to grant them time off because you didn’t give another employee time off to visit their dying grandfather who they hardly knew, do you believe you are being fair? The issue here is, you should have given both of them time off. While you can’t change the decisions you made in the past, you can choose to make the right decisions in the future.

The question isn’t “Where do you draw the line?”. The question is actually “How do you make a decision that will benefit the employee without crippling the organization and that will easily be used again in any similar situation?”.

Fairness is an ethical practice that works; it shouldn’t be an action that clouds your judgement.

Tips to Help With Consistency

  1. If you haven’t started creating policies for your small business, now is the best time to start.
  2. Review your policies annually, at a minimum (depending on the size of your business).
  3. Remember to ensure your policies meet at least minimum employment standards.
  4. There will always be situations that a policy does not cover. When this happens, use reasonable and fair practices to make a decision.

More to Learn

If you want a few more tips on employee relations, watch our Wonderful Wizard of HR’s YouTube video.