Despite the widespread representation of business owners and entrepreneurs being ready to do anything to improve their chances of a high profit, you and I know that as a business owner, you need to show fairness in your decisions and strategic actions if you want to make it work. In fact, most modern entrepreneurs have long abandoned the greedy pursuit of profit for the pursuit of a sustainable and positive brand reputation. In other words, they are good people doing their best.

Of course, it doesn’t mean that they are showing unnecessary signs of generosity towards their employees and customers. But as a rule of the thumb, successful businesses rely on their willingness to play fair and by the law — as well as a form of ethics  — to establish their strategic directions. For instance, they pay a living wage that is calculated to match the local living wage. Indeed, salaries in NYC are likely to be higher than in a rural town in Texas. The reason for monitoring the living wage of your employees is called fairness. It’s one of the many things you can do to treat your staff fairly.

man holding paper

No hidden agenda with a fair manager

Fair recruitment processes

Fairness towards your employees begins with your recruitment processes and more precisely with your job adverts. Small businesses often need to manage the entire process in house, while others can work with a recruiting agency that is responsible for handling candidates fairly. If you’re on your own, you need to consider the risk of discriminatory job specs. Unless the role is targeted at a single-sex institution, there shouldn’t be any gender bias in your adverts. Additionally, racial discrimination can easily occur in job descriptions; when you might intend to be looking for a French-speaking employee but decide to describe it as French only, for example. In short, take the time to produce a fair job advert.

Keeping disciplinary procedures fair

In the case where you begin a disciplinary procedure to get rid of a destructive or poorly-performing employee, fairness is not a weakness but a guideline that can help you to easily conclude the procedure. In the UK, for instance, the Advisory, Conciliation and Arbitration Service, or ACAS for short, is a government-funded body that is responsible for improving organizations and work life. As a result, they have designed a code of practice that ensures that the employer and employee maintain a set relationship throughout the process.

Fair employee recognition practices

As an employer, you want to reward positive achievements from your staff. However, there is no simple way to handle employee recognition. The core of fairness might at first imply that every employee should be rewarded the same for the team’s achievement. But is it fair? Picture the situation where one employee discovers one specific solution that, once implemented by the team, saved the company precious time and money. If you reward everyone in the team, in the same way, you’re likely to upset the employee who came up with the solution in the first place. In fact, you might even lose your employee as a result. Here’s a case where equal treatment isn’t fair.

Being a fair employer is a tough job that starts with a non-discriminatory recruitment process. It might sound cliché, but as your employees are your best assets, the better you treat them, the smoother your business can run.