We have all heard our friends and colleagues complain about their jobs.
Project Managers Can Do to Ensure Workplace Fairness
Some are angry at their bosses, others are not satisfied with the salary, and some are just not happy about how they are treated at the workplace in general.
Many of these problems arise because one thing is not taught and practiced at most workplaces — fairness. This is also one of the biggest reasons why people are always looking for better employment opportunities and companies have a high employee turnover rate.
Naturally, you can’t expect loyalty, positivity, and most importantly productivity at an office where employees are not treated fairly.
Most responsibility for such culture falls on project managers’ shoulders, as they are the ones who lead a considerable number of employees. So how can project managers foster fairness at the workplace? Let’s look at some ideas.
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1. Add Transparency to the Paychecks.
Adding transparency to the work environment plays a vital role in nurturing fairness at the workplace. An area where transparency can bring about a lasting impact is the employees’ promotions or pay raises.
When promotions or increases in salaries are not explained clearly, employees feel that they are being treated unfairly. Most employees work hard in silence and believe they are putting more effort than anybody else and deserve more in terms of a paycheck and other perks.
Being a fair project manager, your job is setting reasonable criteria for promotions and making the whole process transparent to tackle such situations. When employees are aware of the goals to be met for a promotion, they will know they are being treated fairly.
To become a better leader or manager, you can opt for a formal project management course from Monarch. The course will equip you with skills and capabilities that can be transferred to just about any industry, from digital production to construction and more.
2. Get to Know Your Employees.
Cultivating fairness at the workplace starts with understanding and knowing your employees.
Have regular conversations with your subordinates and try to become familiar with the circumstances they are working in. While you don’t want to pry in their personal lives, getting some insight into their personal challenges can help you understand them and their performances better.
For instance, if an employee is going through a hard time and you are already aware of it, he won’t need to answer any questions or justify his performance in case he struggles with work that week.
This will help promote fairness because each employee will be treated according to his personal challenges. Plus, your team will feel understood when you do this, which is sometimes all that employees are looking for.
3. Make an Open Feedback Policy.
Managers need to keep a two-way channel of feedback open for all employees. Both managers and subordinates need to be completely honest with constructive communication.
It’s a common practice that underperforming employees are not given timely feedback. Instead, when the time comes for annual bonuses or appraisals, they are blatantly given a devastating “year-in-review.”
This does not only make them feel treated unfairly but also deprives them of the opportunity to grow.
However, the best project managers ensure that all employees receive frequent, constructive feedback and offer all possible support for employees’ professional development.
4. Listen to Them with Undivided Attention.
Listening carefully to the employees is one of the easiest and most effective ways to make them feel valued and fairly treated.
While having a random conversation or in a meeting, make sure each employee gets enough time to talk and be heard. When employees see they have the managers’ undivided attention and that you care about their opinion, they feel respected and influential.
In addition to work-related stuff and feedback, ensure that no complaints about discrimination or harassment go unheard. Addressing employees’ complaints without bias strengthens their trust in the company and allows workplace fairness to grow.
So, create an environment that allows everyone to raise their voice without fear of judgment or dismissal.
5. Give Equal Opportunities to All Employees.
Being a project manager or a team lead, strive to create a work environment with equal opportunities.
This is especially important because employees will not pledge themselves fully to the organization’s goals when they know that the manager has some favorites among the team. With biased and unfair behavior, you can’t expect loyalty and productivity from the employees.
Also, remember, while it’s essential to avoid giving preferential treatment to one worker over another, it is equally important to reward those employees who work hard and do their jobs well.
For example, if someone is putting in extra hours that he doesn’t get paid for, make sure his efforts are recognized, and he gets a bonus or remuneration of some sort — or at least, words of appreciation in front of his team and senior managers.
Lastly, remember that following the above tips will not only ensure fairness but will also affect employees’ happiness and motivation to enhance overall productivity, which will go on to improve the firm!
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