Of all the free team building ideas that are discussed in workshops, training sessions, and every corporate workplace book, some of the most valuable (but most intangible) are old-fashioned values

Of all the free team building ideas that are discussed in workshops, training sessions, and every corporate workplace book, some of the most valuable (but most intangible) are old-fashioned values. For example, fairness in the workplace can mean more to your team, and more to the long-term success of your work from home business, than all the team-building games and recognition programs in the world.

According to a 2008 workplace study, fairness in the workplace offered 2 concrete benefits to the employer:

1.    Employees who felt they worked in a fair workplace were more likely to engage in behavior that benefitted others at work, such as helping a co-worker finish a project on time.
2.    Employees who felt they worked in a fair workplace were more likely to engage in behavior that benefitted the organization as a whole, such as staying late to finish a report on time.

Since fairness can play such a beneficial role in building your team’s morale and in benefitting your company as a whole, let’s discuss how you can incorporate it into your home based company.

Fairness Starts with Leadership

As an entrepreneur, you have a tremendous amount of influence on how your company is perceived by your employees. So it’s safe to say that fairness starts with you. As the leader of your company, it’s crucial that you make equality your top priority. Make sure that your behavior can be modeled by your employees. For example, if you know that you will not be able to deliver a product on time, be the first to offer a truthful account of this to the customer. Offer to rectify the situation in a manner you can afford. If your workers see that the buck stops with you, they are more likely to emulate that behavior.

Engage in Fair Behavior

The best leaders engage in behavior that promotes fairness: explain, clarify, and be transparent.  Always explain why you are doing certain things (such as a new sales program) to your workers. If they have questions about procedures, then be the first to clarify matters. Always aim for transparency–if you have nothing to hide, then there is a huge likelihood you are being honest. Honesty is the basis for fairness.

Go for Equity, But Be Flexible

Obviously, some situations warrant special consideration. If you have a strict no tardiness policy, you may have to dock habitual latecomers. But what if you have an employee who has a temporary problem with day care for her children? She needs to come in late for a week and a half until the problem is rectified. What can you do?

In this situation, you can be lenient with this employee while explaining the situation to your other workers. Explain that you understand that emergencies happen, and that for a week and a half, this employee will be coming in later than usual. This allows the other workers to understand the situation without assuming she is being given preferential treatment–or that the tardiness policy is suddenly meaningless. It also allows you some flexibility with your employees, allowing you to treat everyone fairly without forcing everyone to conform to an unchanging set of rules.

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