SBM Articles


Create a Fair Culture

by Jonathan Jones

“It’s not fair!”

Ever hear those words? Could be from your children or, even worse, your employees. There are always employees who feel and don’t hesitate to share their feelings that “things aren’t fair” among co-workers. How can you eliminate that phrase from your business lexicon? One way is to eliminate the whiners. But that would not be fair to them.

Let me be clear. Life is not fair. “Good” people get cancer. “Bad” people get lucky breaks. Weather happens, and business slows down or speeds up at unexpected times. Accepting reality is an important life lesson.

Life is not fair. But it is your job as a leader to create a culture that is “more fair.” The job of the leader is to set expectations and define reality. You must put in structure or hire someone to help you put in structure.

Set a clear vision and define the values you expect everyone to respect. Involve your key and most trusted employees in a strategic planning process that is simple and easy to understand. Set clear performance expectations associated with key performance indicators (KPIs). Execute your strategy plan based on deadlines set. Tolerate only behavior within your values. Have periodic reviews of performance based on openly shared performance expectations. Hire, promote and fire based on performance.

The reality is that structure; KPIs; and a solid vision, value and strategic plan can pull the carpet from potential inequity squawkers. Structure is the antidote to “it’s not fair.” Perception is reality. Without a system and structure, employees don’t appreciate what the others bring to the table, and it can become a “me, me, me” culture.

Don’t let that happen. It is so simple to avoid these challenges, and there are so many tools to make culture more transparent and caring.

Jonathan Jones ( or 314-608-0783) is a CEO peer group chair/coach for Vistage International.
Submitted 2 years 114 days ago
Categories: categoryCulturecentric Leadership
Views: 711