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Striving for Fairness in Today's Changing Work Environment

This Monday is International Day of Workers where I am in Havana.

There is a big parade and a celebration with banners that read, “Cuba lives and works!”. 

It reminds me of Freud’s assertion that Love and work are the cornerstones of our humanness.” 

This celebration of work feels like a far cry from media articles about job loss to ChatGPT or automation. 

For sure, there is a shift going on in the world.

Companies are afraid of falling behind. They are trying to shift to new ways of working but are worried they don’t have the buy-in and commitment to make it happen.

Managers are dealing with so much uncertainty that they have no idea how to work in this chaotic and changing work environment.

The work environment has shifted and what worked before just isn’t working anymore.

These are not new phenomena. I wrote in Future Proof in 2019 about the fact that work isn’t working anymore.

What changed is the pandemic, which pulled our networks apart. 

We spent less time connecting and more time isolated. 

It follows that our sense of belonging and trust have declined.

* * *

How does that manifest in the workplace? 

I’ve been studying how to ensure employees can feel a sense of belonging, safety and relevance at work for years. 

When I hear clients complain about disengaged employees, intergenerational spats or a lack of flexible thinking, I try to tie it back to these deep human needs.

In interview after interview, the notion that comes up most is FAIRNESS.








People expect hiring, promotions and opportunities will be based on honest and open criteria. 

That you will provide equal and transparent access to information. 

That you will make the workplace welcoming and a place where they can be productive.

* * *

How would your company measure up on the fairness spectrum? 

Sometimes that is a matter of communication and setting expectations. 

Sometimes it is a larger conversation about incentives. 

Sometimes it means engaging people to co-create the future for your team or company. 

What happens when that doesn’t happen?


And there are no ways to succeed when there is a pervasive sense of resentment.

How would your company measure up on the fairness spectrum? 

Happy International Day of the Worker.

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