Saturday, January 10, 2009

Equity or Equality

A unionised environment poses a typical challenge to manager to strike a balance between equity and equality.

Equity : Treating everyone according to what they deserve.
Equality: Treating everyone same, without accounting for individual merit.
If a manager appreciates high performers, others see it as favouritism and oppose the move.
If manager treats everyone equally, the high performers get no motivation to perform well and may reduce their performance to the level of others.
So what does a manager do?

From my experience, equality is an easy way out, there will be no discontent, everyone is happy and performing at same (lower) level. On the other hand, practicing equity is lot more challenging, but yields higher performance.

Undoubtedly practicing equity is good, but its a tight rope walk for any manager in a highly unionised environment.

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