We like to think that at work we are all equal. Especially when our work is the same and we are placed on the same line. But are we? And if we would be, is it good?
In Finland the law states that from the same job you have to pay an equal pay. This means that the employers cannot pay different basic pay for the same job in the company. Of course there are other add-ons based on skills, negotiations, and experience, but at the basic level everyone’s equal. And over the years this has caused some problems, as the employers are saying that because of the letter of the law, they cannot (and will not) pay extra for experience as they might get sued by the other workers who get less.
But, salary aside, when it comes to treatment within a company, are we, the same titleholders, treated equally? Do we, as people, treat people equally or do we value others more than the others – and, maybe more importantly, do we let it show?
I was recently watching the Master Chef Australia as my Father loves to see it. One of the chefs, Jules, seemed to be quite good, but with the episodes I saw, her baking was partially sub standard. At the same time she received praise from the judges and it made me wonder, how biased these TV show competitions can actually be.
Should it be the same in our everyday work? Should you be able to skim through your career with bits and pieces of success, and whilst amazing when you succeed you make mistakes and don’t always deliver. At the same time those, who consistently deliver solid, but not amazing performance are being left behind because the supervisors see only the razzle dazzle of the cooked parts of the cake, giving no notion to the unbaked, and cut off pieces.
In the end, Jules made it to top 4 because then the judges finally could not let her go through with her cake bottom being burned too badly for them to ignore their favourite’s lack of skill under pressure.
I admit, I want to see the positives in people around me and nurture that side in them. Because I believe that constantly concentrating on the negatives and “you cannot’s” will result in people not going for their dreams and not even getting up from their beds. That’s exactly the reason why it took a score of years for me to start my blog; back in the day the Finnish school system valued scientific writing over creative writing so much that one of the teachers in my high school called me out in front of the class and told the others that because my essays are long and full of strange words, she doesn’t want to make us write essays. Talk about destroying one’s aspirations.
I would hope that the employers now, in 2020’s would finally see and nurture the positives – to actually see the skills and experiences of their workers. They should actually do more than that: they should actually strive to let those employees use those skills and experiences to their and the company’s benefit. Equally.
Because, let’s admit it, we are not equal at work. And we shouldn’t be. But the non-equality should rise from experience, not from some technicality or personal preference of someone who hired the staff.