5 tips to be a fair boss

Does it trigger you when you are not treated fairly?

In my leadership work, I remind leaders that the quickest way to get an employee on your side is to make sure that you treat them fairly. I’d love to use an example of the banker in the game Monopoly.

Why am I referring to Monopoly, the real-estate game we played in childhood?

Because, in many ways, business is a game we play. We are dealt certain cards and have to manipulate, negotiate, and play the dice to see what outcomes we can get.

If you could compare the interactions you have with your team to a game of Monopoly, here are five tips to be a fair boss:

  1. Ensure that everyone gets paid on time.

Getting paid is a hygiene factor for most companies. However, sometimes companies need help with cash flow, or their staff sit overseas, and they use this as a power to pay their teams late. When you do this, your team loses respect for you and will be applying for other jobs that won’t allow their debit orders to bounce.

2. Don’t play favorites. Hold everyone accountable.

Suppose there are rules for doing timesheets, arriving on time, submitting leave or budget requests on time. Treat everyone the same. Don’t allow some people to keep repeating the same bad behavior and then expect the team to be motivated by this.

3. Don’t give money underneath the table.

If you’ve played Monopoly, you would know certain family members would not be allowed to be the bank because they would hand out money to their favorites underneath the table.

If you are a leader, do you do everything above board or have underhanded tactics to promote certain team members? Would you rather have equal opportunities for growth for your team? Can you put recognition and reward systems in place where teams can know how they can grow and what will set them on the path to success?

4. Does your team know how they can win?

Who wins at Monopoly? The person with the most assets and cash at the end of the game.

Does your team know how they can win at work? Do you give them a roadmap of your expectations? Are you transparent in your communication so they can all work towards the team’s goals?

5. Do you spend time with all of your team or just those giving you problems?

Many leaders in my coaching and training programs tend to prioritize their team with the bad apples in their business. They have performance, feedback, and coaching meetings and rarely sit with the star performers.

If you want to treat your team fairly, ensure that you have coaching and goal-setting conversations with the entire team, not just those needing urgent intervention.

When you spend time with a star performer, you can get innovative ideas for your business and ensure they are still happy working there.

Here is a Leadership case study that you can use for a short training session with your leaders. Download it and print it out for the group. You will also find an exercise around the cost of losing a star performer at the end.

Can you work out what the cost would be for your business?

Would love to hear your insights!

Written by Yoke van Dam