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Equity in the Workplace - A Different View

Sascha Butler, Office Director

Seniority Vs. Education/ Experience

Workplace employers can establish policy and procedures for promotions of course. However, one issue today that needs close consideration is if those policies and procedures are equitable?

Does an employee who has been with a company for fifteen years or longer, without the required education or experience, deserve promotion over an employee who has been with the same organization for three years or less, who however may hold a degree within the promotional category, and who brings past experience to the position?

As we look at the enormous changes occurring in the workplace, policies and procedures must now be looked at through this lens of equity. Our workplaces can no longer use “good old boy or girl” networks in the work culture, as good employees have many more options today.

Often employers feel they owe loyalty to employees that have been with the organization the longest. Promoting people into jobs that they would never get if they applied outside of the organization because they lack the skills and qualifications.

This often does more harm than good for both the employer and the employee. Who subsequently can fail in the position or pull upon other employees to help them “learn” the position. This sets up a toxic work environment and culture that promotes inequity, inequality and bias.

Just because an employee knows the inner workings of an organization or because the work they currently perform is of high quality and they understand most of what the company does, will not always guarantee they are the suitable candidates for a higher level position.

Employers often must make hard choices to promote from within, which as a business strategy can be beneficial as long as it's unbiased and not based upon loyalty. At some point the organization must overlook loyalty and ensure they are doing what’s best for the company and the employee.

More often than not it's ok to choose the latter. The goal for any employer is to do what is best to keep the company running smoothly.

One of the last things that people think about when it comes to equity is the hiring and promoting process. Equity in the workplace means to have fair and impartial hiring and promotion processes for the company.

EVERY employee deserves to have the same treatment when it comes to available opportunities, as well as advancement.

Employers often feel bound to the “promote from within” adage.

Today the message of the great resignation is clear. When employers start looking for people to fill certain positions, it is ok to look outside of the company for someone new who has the education and or experience, who will bring new perspectives, new ideas and who can help change work culture.

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