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Building productivity: Fairness

Fairness-child-page Acas has developed seven levers which provide a practical framework for workplaces to unlock their potential to be more productive. This page looks at fairness.

Why is fairness so important to optimum growth and efficiency?

Everybody wants to feel valued and that they are treated in a consistent and even-handed way. This is even more important during periods of organisational change. Unfair treatment - or the perception of unfairness - can lead to:

  • a toxic workplace culture where bullying and other negative behaviours go unchecked
  • high absence levels due to workplace stress or accusations of discrimination.

But tackling head-on the challenges posed by perceived unfairness can:

  • promote diversity and respect
  • improve levels of motivation and engagement
  • deal directly with stress caused by high workloads or lack of management support
  • promote a better understanding of individuals 'in the round' and help improve work life balance
  • ensure fair pay, especially as businesses start to grow.

What does an organisation that treats employees fairly look like?

  • Employers promote a culture that recognises diversity, addresses equality and tackles discrimination.
  • Employees feel safe and valued at work, and employers recognise and support their wider wellbeing.
  • Terms and conditions and pay levels are transparent, comply with the law and reward employees fairly.

Fairness in the workplace: Further Acas guidance and resources

Acas Productivity tool

Take the Acas self-diagnosis Productivity Tool test to understand your organisation's strengths and weaknesses, and to help you identify simple practical steps you can take to get the best out of your staff. The tool will produce a report with links to relevant Acas help and tools.

Find out more about the seven levers of workplace productivity

Well designed work | Skilled managersManaging conflict effectivelyClarity about rights and responsibilitiesFairnessStrong employee voice | High trust


Fairness: Acas training and support for business

Employees who feel valued and treated fairly by their employers will be better engaged and more productive. Acas offer a range of Training Courses, Workshops and Projects which can help embed fairness and equality and compliance with the law in employers polices and processes. Acas support can include:

View the full range of Acas Workshops, projects and business solutions support available to help your business in this area.

Acas also schedule training events around Great Britain which help employers learn more about fairness. View our full listing of Training events or click on event details below.