Quint Studer asked the question: Are fair and equal the same thing?
People often use these words interchangeably. But talk to a group of employees and a group of leaders and you’ll quickly see a lot of confusion around these concepts.
Fairness is about differences, not similarities. People are different. They have different skill levels. They bring different strengths to the table. They have different needs. When you try to treat two people exactly the same you are treating them like cogs in a machine. This is dehumanizing.
It’s easier to be equal than fair. It takes a lot more thought and attention to treat people fairly. Many managers let injustices happen because it’s too hard or too uncomfortable to deal with them.