Dare to treat people differently

To be fair is seen by most of us as a fundamental right and managers and companies strive to treat everyone fairly. If people in an organisation feel that they are treated unfairly in the workplace it reduces engagement and motivation according to research.
However, there is a risk that we think that by treating everyone the same way we treat them fairly. Fairness does not mean you should treat everyone the same, it is more about providing each and every one in your team equal opportunities and conditions to perform and succeed. The same thing also relates to acknowledgement and reward – it is not about rewarding everyone in the same manner, even though the process must be fair and logical. Furthermore, do not expect that people appreciate the same reward and acknowledgement that you do.
Therefore, as a manager you need to:

  • Think about what drives and motivates every single individual you have in your team.
  • Dare to go against an innate desire to treat everyone equally and by that take for granted that it is therefore fair.

So what can you do?
Take the time to see and get to know each individual. You are probably not a mind readers, so make sure you ask questions and really listen to your employees so that you can get a valid picture of what he or she wants and needs regarding support, challenged, reward, feedback, etc. By coaching your employees you can also get an understanding of how you, in the best way possible, can support each individual and thereby create favourable conditions for increased commitment, motivation and performance.
So dare to treat your employees differently – just to be fair!

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