The drive for consistency & fairness

The drive for consistency and fairness has a major influence on risk attitudes in many organisations. Consistency and fairness are seen as important contributors to staff well-being and perceived as requirements to minimise conflict within the organisation. Nothing could be further from the truth!

The drive for consistency and fairness actually has the opposite effect. The drive stems from litigation concerns and contributes to risk averse cultures through introducing (sometimes heavy-handed) monitoring, gate-keeping and other bureaucratic practices. It advocates 'one-size-fits-all' solutions and minimises innovative practices. Bureaucratic organisations do encourage poorer staff well-being, and actually in turn invite more litigation.

If you apply this to Equality & Diversity, consistency and fairness actually creates more stereotypical ideas. It suggests that every person who has a protected characteristic can be understood through E&D Training.

There is a driving force which could be totally ignored, which is individuality. I have two friends who are Jewish, one is very strict in their beliefs while the other is not. Is it not my friends' responsibility to inform the people around them of their life choices?

Organisations have to be careful that when they collate information about people with protected characteristics not to add to stereotyping activities. People have a choice whether to tell the organisation about their disability or sexual orientation.

So instead of driving consistency and fairness, think about how individuality and identity can be supported and contribute to changing the culture of the organisation for the better.

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