Have you ever questioned the fairness of your management practices? An obvious gauge of how you’re doing is the relationship you have with your staff and how often you’re the subject of HR interventions. But some bosses get away with unfairness, without a word, often because employees are intimidated or fear for their jobs. For all those in a managerial role, here are some unfair practices that you need to identify and cease, in order of severity.
That’s right, illegal practices – because discrimination, harassment, and the denial of employees’ rights are against workplace fairness and equity legislation.
Have you ever limited, segregated, classified, or deprived staff of opportunities “based on race, national or ethnic origin, colour, religion, age, sex, sexual orientation, marital status, family status, disability and pardoned conviction?” Have you been directing any intentionally offensive and improper conduct toward an employee? Have you withheld from your workers any of their legal entitlements, including a fair wage and public holiday pay?
If you’ve engaged in any of these unfair practices, you may have broken the law. You’ll be required to give an account when one of your employees takes union or legal action.
A tier below criminally unfair managerial behaviours are those that are unprofessional and inappropriate. Managers can be unfair in how they display nepotism or favouritism. Getting along with some staff better than others is only natural, but a line is crossed when managers recruit, promote, or give preference to less qualified employees based on the fact that they’re related, have a personal friendship, or share a common affinity.
Other inappropriate practices include taking credit for an employee’s work, unjustified exclusion from important projects or meetings, and denying well-deserved promotions or raises without explanation. Managers can also demoralize employees by publicly shaming or teasing them. All of these damaging behaviours can lead to staff lodging grievances against your organization.
The third category of unfair behaviour includes those that are simply unpleasant and unhelpful. Each person has different personality traits and cultural influences as well as insecurities, sensitivities, and varying levels of social/emotional intelligence. People can rub each other the wrong way and have different ideas of what behaviour is acceptable in the workplace.
A manager can think it’s okay, or even motivating, to be excessively critical, sarcastic, or passive aggressive to their employees. Other managers may unintentionally be hostile or unreasonable while under pressure or even due to issues in their own personal lives. However, it’s no excuse. If you have knowingly or unknowingly engaged in these kinds of behaviours to your employees, cut it out, raise your professional game, and resolve to be a more fair manager.
– James Paik