The Great Resignation has employers seeking the truth about why their employees are leaving at rapid rates. We decided to launch a poll asking people on various platforms the reason for their departure. To our surprise, the top four answers all connect to our human need for justice. It reveals that all decisions are governed by our need to be fair and see fairness in how others act toward us.
- Unfair pay for work done
- Lack of manager support and respect
- Favoritism applied to decisions
- Lack of career opportunities
All this points to the concept of organizational justice. It refers to how employees perceive the fairness of outcomes from the application of rules and procedures. This perception can have a positive or negative impact on employee performance. For instance, an employee who feels mistreated may put less effort into their workday or help others in the team to balance the lack of recognition. Studies have shown that there is a strong relationship between employee retention and the lack of organizational justice perceived by the employee.
Three Types of Organizational Justice
Distributive justice: The employee assesses how fair is the compensation or recognition received for the amount of effort placed.
Procedural justice: How fair are the processes and rules used by managers to make decisions.Employees observe when someone is promoted using a standard process versus favoritism. Research shows employees are open to accepting a poor outcome when a fair process was used.
Interactional justice: have you heard, that people leave managers not jobs? Most likely has to do with their feeling of unfairness. Interactional justice is the degree managers treat employees with respect and dignity. As well as provide emotional support.
Here are a few strategies targeting each specific type of justice that you can try to increase organizational equity and improve employee retention.
Distributive Justice Strategies
- Use market rates to allocate compensation rates and watch for gender and racial biases that may create pay gaps.
- Give credit and recognition to all deserving employees. Do not fall into recognizing only your favorite one.
Procedural Justice Strategies
- Allow employee voice to influence decisions with fair participation.
- Provide rationality for decisions increasing transparency.
Interactional Justice Strategies
- Offer support with career progression.
- Check in regularly with employees to see how they are feeling.
- Adress discriminatory actions such as macroaggressions and microaggressions by holding people accountable.