I would like to improve employee productivity and create a friendlier work...

I would like to improve employee productivity and create a friendlier work atmosphere. Where can I start without appearing to be a ‘pushover’ boss?


Employee concerns over pay systems, managerial favouritism and equal recognition are common leadership challenges. While leaders of some of the best workplaces struggle with fairness issues, those with thoughtful and comprehensive management approaches definitely have the most success with their staff.

To help your organisation strengthen its own tactics, here are a few lessons to consider: Re-affirm that everyone will receive an equal opportunity to be recognised. One of the fastest ways to erode a workplace’s sense of fairness is by giving recognition unequally. This challenge can be especially difficult when managing employees across multiple sites.

Create a sense that promotions are handled fairly. When an employee complains that a coworker’s promotion wasn’t fair, his or her underlying question might actually be, “Why wasn’t I promoted?” The best organisations address this by ensuring all employees receive frequent, constructive feedback and by providing personal support in professional development.

Add transparency and a commitment to equity to the salary. When it comes to a sense of fair pay, it’s not just about the amount of the salary that matters. The transparency of the compensation system and a clear commitment to equity by the organisation are critical in ensuring people feel fairly paid.

Offer a fair appeals process. It is critical for employees to understand that they have a fair opportunity to have grievances heard by management. Have an open door policy for all leaders and several upward feedback mechanisms, allowing team members the opportunity to voice concerns or constructive criticisms to an employee outside of his or her regular communication channel.

Workplace concerns about fairness are challenging for any business, and can be frustrating for employees and leaders alike. Focusing on transparency and frequent communication can cut down these concerns, allowing everyone to focus on more rewarding and productive responsibilities.

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