Workplace injustices are commonplace within societies all across the globe. Workplace injustice is to be defined as the unfair treatment of an employee(s), or an action that results from bad management practices, inclusive of the failure to follow rules, regulations, process and procedures –– which has the net effect of bringing about employee resentment.
Workplace injustices basically result as a consequence of the failure to observe fairness, which is built on observing partiality. It is expected that the observance of truth, integrity and honesty will serve to negate complaints of workplace injustices being inflicted upon the individual or group.
The fact that workplace injustices are associated with such things as discrimination, harassment, exposure to hazards and bullying, denotes that they are associated with negativity.
One of the common injustices that is cited by most employees is that of supersession. This arises where an employee qualifies or satisfies the requirements for promotion, having the requisite qualifications and experience, and has been overlooked or bypassed for promotion.
This can be described as a calculated act that leads to potential discord, which can result in protest or industrial action being taken by the staff in support of an aggrieved colleague. Such an injustice tends to contribute to the loss of trust and confidence in the management of the organization. It can be considered as a breach of procedural justice.
A breach of procedural justice amounts to a disregard for the established policies, procedures and process. The understanding and expectation are that equity and fairness will guide the decision-making process. Management can therefore be its biggest enemy when it fails to act responsibly. It thus seems that management contributes to the fall-out that subsequently follows the decision(s) made.
Where a policy in an organization is altered or changed to accommodate any individual or group of persons, this undermines procedural justice. It is therefore best that the policies and procedures are fairly applied. It is in the best interest of management to be neutral when intervening in a matter between parties in the workplace. It should ensure that the decision it makes in a matter is based on facts, and the action taken thereafter is appropriate.
Wrongdoing in any form is unacceptable and should be avoided. Management in responding to any matter involving an employee is well advised to avoid proceeding on hearsay and assumptions. No attempt ought to be made to cheat an employee out of the opportunity to gain promotion where that employee’s qualifications, education, work performance and work experience are on or above par.
Employers should be wary of varying workplace standards. All employees should be held to the same standards.
Employees can sometimes be accused of responding to what is perceived rather than the actual. The general view of employees is that there is perceived harm or wrongdoing that is directed by another party, which is intended to inflict damage, injury, discomfort or punishment.
It matters most what the overall effect, the action or development, has upon the individual or group of individuals, to make them feel that they have been mistreated, or wrongdoing has been afflicted upon them.
Employees are less likely to complain about workplace injustices if they are treated in a polite manner, with dignity and respect, and experience candid communication between themselves and management, enjoy the benefit of having procedures thoroughly explained to them, and where and when required are offered reasonable explanations on procedures and issues.
(Dennis De Peiza is labour management consultant with Regional Management Services Inc.
Visit the website www.regionalmanagement services.com
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