Valued Blog Post of the Week! #Fairness

Valued Blog Post of the Week!

I’m giving myself a writing challenge for the next three months. I will pick a personal value as part of a writing exercise as an experiment to see how the topic affects my daily stress level.

My stress level is still well in check even though I have missed my valued Blog Post of the week. I guess you could say I was having trouble picking my next value.

Friday write-in

Picking a personal value

“Pick one value and write about it for ten minutes. Describe why this value is important to you. Write how you express this value in your everyday life, including what you did today.”[1]

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Image courtesy of Trust And Integrity Quotes. QuotesGram via Google Images by Rappler.com

We all have specific values that have become a part of our personality over the years. Those values are not something that I have given much thought to until recently. This post is late. The holidays are long gone, and I don’t have much of an excuse except that of being indecisive until now. I was going to go with Positive Influence, but then I said no, that’s not it. Then I thought Personal Growth and decided that I’m not ready to cover that topic.

So, I’m choosing Fairness instead.

Fairness is a noun and means impartial and just treatment or behavior without Favoritism or Discrimination. Synonyms for fairness are:

candor – civility – decency – decorum – equity – honesty – humanity – impartiality – integrity – legitimacy – moderation – propriety – rationality – righteousness – suitability – tolerance – truth – veracity – charitableness – charity – consideration – courtesy – disinterestedness – due – duty – exactitude – fair-mindedness – goodness – honor – justness – reasonableness – right – rightfulness – rightness – seemliness – uprightness – equitableness – fair shake – give and take – good faith – open-mindedness – square deal

Oh, I just finished a course on Race and Ethnics this previous semester. Fascinating topic. Many don’t realize how racial or discriminating they are until they begin to dig deep. But what does this have to do with my value topic of fairness?

Lots!

Fairness is a tremendous value even in the workplace.

Why so?

Favoritism is the opposite of fairness – the antonym.

Favoritism = Discrimination

Favoritism comes in several forms and can be considered discrimination in the workplace and can have devastating effects on the company culture.

Consider this:

If one employee favored over another for any single reason, then someone is being discriminated against which results in loss of trust, motivation, morale, lost productivity, and leads to resentment and causes disincentives for overall productivity. It is plain and simple, bad management practice. “When employees see that only a few receive benefits for being in the manager’s good graces instead of from doing a great job, then there is little reason for hard work.”[2] Favoritism can also not only negatively impact the company culture it can hurt the bottom line.[3]

Favoritism can manifest in unfair bonus or promotions and which is evident when a manager looks the other way when an employee is not following the dress code or leaves an hour or two early or comes in late without making up their time. “At extremes, favoritism can lead to lawsuits, which in addition to having severe financial consequences, may have a lasting effect on a company’s hiring efforts and reputation in both the specific industry and the public eye.”[4]

Is favoritism illegal?

That depends on the type of favoritism such as discrimination.

What is discrimination?

“Discrimination happens when employers make job decisions based on employees’ protected characteristics — traits that federal, state, or local governments have decided should not be the basis of employment actions. Under federal law, for example, it’s illegal for employers not to hire someone because of his race, to refuse to promote women, to relegate employees with disabilities to low-paying positions, or to lay off employees based on age.”[5]

But if the decision based on similar beliefs, hobbies, or likes then this is not considered discrimination.

Sexual Harassment Favoritism is illegal.

(Topic to cover later.)

Favoritism as Retaliation

“If a manager’s decisions are intended to punish employees who have complained of illegal behavior (such as discrimination, harassment, or unsafe working conditions), that could be unlawful retaliation.”[6]

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I know that fairness is difficult. We all want everyone to like us. But if you as a leader have earned employee trust, then what is there not to like?

Reference

  1. Favoritism in the Workplace: Is it illegal? Accessed January 19, 2018. https://www.employmentlawfirms.com/resources/employment/discrimination/laws-preventing-favoritism-in-the-workplace.

FLEISCHMAN, EDWARD. 2015. The dangers of playing favorites at work. August 4. Accessed January 19, 2018. http://fortune.com/2015/08/04/favoritism-careers-leadership/.

McGonigal, Kelly. 2016. The Upside of Stress. New York: Avery.

Notes

[1] (McGonigal 2016, 72)

[2] (Favoritism in the Workplace: Is it illegal? 2018)

[3] (FLEISCHMAN 2015)

[4] (FLEISCHMAN 2015)

[5] (Favoritism in the Workplace: Is it illegal? 2018)

[6] (Favoritism in the Workplace: Is it illegal? 2018)

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Book of the Month for September 2017

The latest book to make my read pile is The 5 Languages of Appreciation in the Workplace: Empowering Organizations by Encouraging People written by Gary Chapman and Paul White. Many times I’ve heard my co-workers complain that they don’t feel appreciated in the workplace which is why this particular book caught my eye and became my next to read selection and it offered a strong insight to why they were probably feeling this way for some time.

Title: The 5 Languages of Appreciation in the Workplace: Empowering Organizations by Encouraging People

Author: Gary Chapman and Paul White

Pages: 222

Publisher: Northfield Publishing; Reprint edition (September 1, 2012)

Publication Date: September 1, 2012

ASIN: B00887P9L2

Rating: 5/5.0

The title says it all. There are 5 languages identified for giving appreciation in the workplace. Employees need to be appreciated to be encouraged to perform at a productive pace. When they don’t feel appreciated production falls communication falters and the organization loses sales and profits.
Dr. Gary Chapman, one of the authors of the book, has a BA and an MA degree in anthropology from Wheaton College and Wake Forest University. He also has an MRE and a Ph.D. from Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary and completed postgraduate work at the University of North Carolina and Duke University. His expertise is in marriage counseling which led him to write his first book in the Love Language series, The 5 Love Languages: The Secret to Love That Lasts. The series is a huge success leading him to write many others.
Dr. Paul White is a psychologist that graduated Magna Cum Laude from Wheaton College majoring in Christian Education. He then earned a Masters in Counseling at Arizona State University and went on to earn his Ph.D. in Counseling Psychology from Georgia State University. He is not only a psychologist but also a speaker and “consultant who “makes work relationships work””.
The explanations of what the five languages of appreciation are and why they are so important is the greatest takeaway from this book. If you are like me, as you get deeper into reading this book you will begin to notice the different languages of appreciation your co-workers speak every day whether they are aware of it or not. Dr. White indicates that 75 percent of the population will use their main language of appreciation when giving appreciation to others. Many people, even when they are complaining will complain about not receiving appreciation will indicate in the complaint their main appreciation language.
The information given in the book makes sense after working in a positive workplace many years ago this sort of appreciation in the workplace was exhibited. Many toxic workplaces don’t provide any form of appreciation to their workers. Wage increases and bonuses only work short term to give employees a boost to their work productivity. But, when they feel they are appreciated in their workplace there is less bicker among employees, attitudes become positive, loyalty is created, workers are retained, and productivity increases across the board.
No one likes to be employed where they don’t feel they matter. No one likes to be just another number. We call employees resources when in fact they are more than just resources without them the company wouldn’t be able to function. No work would be done. No profits made. No sales taken.
When was the last time you felt appreciated at your workplace?
Do you know what your main language of appreciation is?
Mine is quality time!