According to the biblical quote and now popular saying; “Do to others as you would have them do to you.”
The way in which people are treated in modern society has been a topic of conversation for some years now, especially where equality rights in the workplace are involved. Issues date back as far as the introduction of the Equal Pay Act in 1970, right up to the modern day scandal of retail giant Sports Direct and its controversial working conditions. You would think after nearly 50 years of Equality Laws, Acts and Policies, modern businesses would have grasped the concept that to keep staff happy they must treat them fairly.
During a recent survey with our candidates, we asked which of the following they would consider the most [and least] important when it came to their manager at work:
- For you and your manager to form a strong relationship
- For your manager to give you clear objectives
- For your achievements to be recognised by your manager
- For your manager to support you in learning and development
- For your manager to treat you fairly and the same as other employees
Unsurprisingly, the answer that job seekers felt was the most important to them was “For your manager to treat you fairly and the same as other employees”. In fact, fairness and equality was an almost unanimous answer compared to the other options:
It was actually very interesting to discover that employees would rank being treated fairly and equally to their peers above having their own achievements recognised.
Why do employees feel this way? Is this a backlash of the recession and job seekers craving security and stability in a job rather than looking for progression? Could this be another example of the “cotton wool generation”? Kids and teenagers of the 21st Century being overprotected and therefore forcing the nation into ‘political correctness gone mad’?
Schools in the UK are now banishing “top sets” in a bid to not make less academically clever children feel inferior. I also recently read that Britain’s largest Student Union (NUS) is now pushing the banishment of clapping and cheering in schools so as not to offend or exclude deaf students.
Some would argue that workers are now less motivated to progress and work towards promotions as they are more conscious and focused on being treated the same as their co-workers. However, it has become apparent that to retain staff in this current recruitment market, employers must have procedures in place that promote and execute equality and the fair treatment of its staff.
Your staff are, effectively, your most loyal customers and therefore should be treated accordingly. Staff that feel part of an equal team will be more “motivated, enthusiastic and display a can-do attitude” according to Barbara Bowes of the Recruitment Firm, Legacy Bowes.
Are you doing anything to promote staff equality in the workplace? If not then perhaps today is the day to start.