While reading a journal article for my Strategic Human Resource class, I encountered the term “Organizational Justice.” This is the first time I heard this expression, but it is not the first time I applied it to my organization.
I have been in business for the past 15 years, heading my trading company. From the moment I had to get the first people to work in my firm, I have considered justness in choosing and appointing them to their respective positions.
First to hire were the sales representatives, then the technicians, and then the accounting staff, and last but not least, and the most critical of all, were the human resources people.
Why do I say the most critical? For me, HR helped and guided me in giving fair and just management to our employees. Why? Because my HR team and I closely monitored all our employees’ “distributive justice,” most especially on their compensations. We thought that some people were overpaid, and still, others underpaid. But we were cautious not to distort salaries based on their positions because we believe that a slight sense of injustice might lead to work stress.
Since my company started, I have been giving merit pay to my sales team. There was a time that I want to discontinue it as my costs were now uncontrollable due to this practice. I asked my HR team if ever we removed the additional incentives, what they think would happen? They said that employees are now used to this kind of merit pay, so it’s better to continue it. I believed then that HR gave me good advice in providing organizational justice to our employees.
I consider all my people equal in our organization. This interactional justice is the way I treat my people fairly. I see them as my family”•no discrimination on religious affiliation, political stance, or even sexual orientation. Anyone can come to my office and state his or her concerns. In this way, I can build the responsible attitude that I want my people to have.
I have seen solid interpersonal relationships from this kind of fairness that we demonstrated to our people, from the top management to the bottom ranks. I saw their good behaviors and their right attitude at work. Their commitment to the company extended beyond the work hours, whether they have to stay overtime or even overnight to finish their tasks. Nevertheless, on those extended times, I provided them food and transportation, and most importantly, overtime pay, plus the usual commissions when the company gets to win the sales.
Our HR team builds up the good behaviors of our people. We see them resonating their work commitment to our customers. The employees themselves are promoting the good side of our company to our clients. I believe that our HR provides proper justice management that makes our people proud. Our company is known for its outstanding leadership team and consequently, our customers patronize our products for the good brands and our people’s just treatment. Our competitors indeed find it very hard to match our sales personnel’s eagerness to serve our customers well.
In our company, we never had any pay cuts, layoffs, nor retrenchments. We believe that a person will work hard to increase their welfare, not for its decrease. In this way, HR effectively manages all employees, even if some are not performing well. This scenario is the challenging part of the job. But we can handle it effectively as the employees see the big gap between their shortcomings and the many benefits they are receiving from the company even though some of their performances are not satisfactory.
As the head of the company, I acted both as a judge and an arbitrator on many issues that come across our daily operations. I see to it that my decisions are fair and just, and I do not offend anyone. In this, I salute my HR team for their reasonable arbitration to our people. They have carried out my mandate to be completely neutral–they are both on the management and the employee sides. In this way, we have seen improvements in settling disputes between people and organizations in our firm.
We see our employees staying with the company for a longer time, longer than in their previous jobs. In this continuing COVID-9 pandemic, our people have remained loyal and motivated, ensuring the company’s continuous survival. Even after the pandemic, these people will still be working hard, for they are truly dedicated to the management. And I think it is because we have given excellent justice to the people who trust us.
The author is a Doctor of Business Administration student of the Ramon V. Del Rosario College of Business, De La Salle University. He is a registered chemical engineer and a master entrepreneur. He and his wife founded a hospital equipment trading company 15 years ago and had some other businesses after that. He now adds a coffee business to his ventures, serving coffee drinks and selling roasted coffee beans and espresso machines. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
The views expressed above are the author’s and do not necessarily reflect the official position of DLSU, its faculty, and its administrators.