Equity in the workplace

Upstock Team

December 3, 2022

Equity in the workplace

December 3, 2022

Equity in the workplace

You may have heard about equity more than a few times in your workplace. Equity in the workplace can refer to equality and it can also refer to a type of equity ownership in in a company. They sound similar and are related but mean different things. Worker equity, as in ownership, is a legal idea related to the sharing of shares of a company with the workers of the company. Equity, as in equality, refers to the fairness of how employees are treated in the workplace. How can these two concepts help you in the long run? What benefits can you actually get from them?

Like other employees, you may have many other questions regarding this topic. That's why we rounded up six of the most common ones with their corresponding answers.

What does equity at work mean?

Equity at work refers to the fairness of how employees are treated in the workplace. It should represent an inclusive workforce. Equity in the workplace is employees' just and fair treatment of their job duties and responsibilities. 

Equity in the workplace means that employees feel they are treated fairly and have the same career growth and development opportunities as the other employees in higher positions and on the leadership team (managerial and executive positions, among others).

Achieving equity at work can improve employee satisfaction, retention, and company productivity.  

There are many ways to have a truly equitable workplace. One of the most common workplace equity strategies is by ensuring employees have the same access to exact same resources and equal opportunities in training and development that align with their career goals.

But more than that, they need to have these resources and opportunities tailored fit to their specific needs at the moment so they can use these to further maximize their potentials. Giving employees the resources they need to grow can help companies create equity in the workplace.

Moreover, this may go hand in hand with equality in the workplace, which includes compensation, equitable benefits, job security, spousal health insurance, event based incentives, and other factors that affect employee morale and motivation. 

Why is workplace equity important?

Equity in the workplace is important for several reasons. First, it ensures that employees are treated fairly and given the same opportunities to succeed.

Second, the process to promote equity creates a sense of fairness and justice in the workplace that can help boost morale and productivity.

Finally, equity creates more diverse teams and an inclusive workplace that benefits employees and employers. In short, workplace equity is essential for creating a positive and productive work environment.

How do you build an equitable workplace?

Employers must consider individual employee needs and the organization's overall needs to build equity in the workplace. So, it's not enough to give them identical resources; rather, knowing exactly what they need is important.

Individual employees must feel that their contributions (such as culture contribution) are valued and that they are compensated fairly for their work. Take note that each employee's situation is unique so one may have entirely different work-related needs than the other to get similar results when it comes to career growth that can eventually lead to the development of an ownership mindset.

Their job descriptions accessible, their equity targets should also be transparent so they can refute if needed. There should also be equitable representation so that there will be a level playing field and proportional representation for everyone.

The diverse team, including the senior leaders and human resources experts or hiring managers of the organization, also have to create a culture where diverse candidates and employees feel they are respected and valued team members.

It should be a public commitment not only for the leadership team but also for everyone else who is currently working in the company. Employees are more likely to go for employee engagement and productivity when there's an equal playing field in the sense that their unique situations are heavily considered to achieve fairness in a more equitable workplace.

As a result, the organization can attract and retain top and diverse talent which can lead to improved employee performance–one of the most important aspects that can help the company flourish over time.

Having mentorship programs can also help to ensure that everyone in the team will not feel "stagnant" or left behind, or that someone may have a competitive advantage over them.

What principles promote an inclusive workplace and diverse workforce?

Principles are not just there for the company’s branding initiatives; they are there as guides to help you see if the company culture and culture contribution you’re trying to build is something in line with your and the employees’ values and upbringing.

We listed some principles below that can guide you if you’re unsure how to start promoting workplace equity.

  • Equal Treatment: All employees should be treated equally and have equal opportunity to succeed. 
  • Fairness: The diverse leadership should judge employees on their merits, not on personal characteristics, such as sexual orientation. 
  • Representation: The diverse workforce should be representative of the population. 
  • Flexibility: The workplace should be flexible to accommodate the diverse pool of employees' needs. 
  • Support: Employees should be supported in their efforts to achieve workplace equity and growth. 
  • Accountability: Institutions and individuals should be held accountable for their actions and decisions related to equity. 

These principles are essential in ensuring workplace equality, fairness, and equitability for all employees. By adhering to these principles, many organizations can create an inclusive work environment and equitable work environments for everyone.

How do you demonstrate equity in the workplace?

There are several ways how to demonstrate an equitable workplace. One of the most important is ensuring everyone has an equal opportunity to succeed by creating a level playing field when it comes to the hiring process (skills based hiring), hiring practices, promotion, and compensation.

It also means ensuring everyone has equitable access to the same opportunities, same resources, and same employee resource groups even if the employees have different backgrounds or belong to underrepresented groups.

The executive leadership sponsors should have equitable opportunities while battling the unfair status quo (i.e., competitive advantage, lack of measurable outcomes, among others). This is important because not all employees are brave enough to voice out their concerns. 

Promoting equity in the workplace and workplace equality refers to creating a culture of respect. This means instituting policies against harassment and creating an equitable work environment where diverse employees feel comfortable speaking up if they experience or witness any form of discrimination or harassment. 

As mentioned in the previous section, it also requires creating an inclusive environment where everyone feels valued and respected, including underrepresented groups. This can be achieved through policies and practices that promote equity through chief diversity, values diversity, and inclusion.

This also includes implementing policies prohibiting discrimination based on race, gender identity, sexual orientation, cultural background, religion, or national origin.

Additionally, companies should provide training on unconscious bias and promote equity practices, such as gender diversity and workplace inclusion. 

How do you make equity in the workplace measurable?

There are many ways to measure equity to attain an equitable future with equality included in it, but some of the most common include looking at equity measures such as job satisfaction, pay (pay equity) and benefits, and equal opportunities for career advancement through goal setting. 

Conducting surveys is a good way to get feedback from employees. At the same time, you can make the results objective by tallying the scores.

In this way, you can get the diverse perspectives of the crowd and work your way to improve the company’s systems from there. Don’t forget to provide space where they can freely express their opinions without fearing retaliation. After all, you aim to create a safe space for them to grow.

Providing employees with competitive salaries and benefits is another measurable way to provide equity. This ensures that all your employees can support themselves and their families while attracting and retaining top talent and employing diverse talent. Research and check out the fair salary and compensation packages (pay equity) you can offer your employees. Ask them what motivates them to stay in a company and see what aspects of your offer can help you meet halfway.

Worker equity creates an ownership culture, which helps worker feel like they are owners and not just an insignificant part of the company. By doing so, it can help them feel like they have a role to play in the company’s growth, giving meaning to their work.

Aside from these two, career advancement within the company through goal setting is a way to help them monitor their progress while objectively measuring equity. You can do this by setting percentages per goal and checking on the progress at least once a month.

Make sure the goals align with what they are doing at work to help them make sense of why certain goals should be set in the first place. Discuss these with them and carefully consider their suggestions, if there are any. 

By measuring these factors, employers can better understand whether their employees feel like they are being treated equitably. Additionally, measuring workplace equity can help identify potential areas of improvement within an organization.

How can a company create an ownership culture?

There are three things that help promote an ownership culture: vision alignment, inspiring leadership, and when workers actually own a piece of the company's stock or equity.

  • Vision: Start by clarifying the mission of the company and getting everyone involved in the process of developing it and agreeing to it. This should be done in an engaging and inspiring manner, with everyone being transparent and open to ideas.
  • Leadership: Leaders should be inspiring and motivating. They have to model the desired behaviors, such as collaboration and communication. Your leadership should also demonstrate a willingness to listen and take the opinions of others into consideration.
  • Ownership equity: Make the workers feel like they are part of the company by allowing them to own a piece of its stock or equity. By doing so, the workers will feel an increased sense of ownership and be motivated to work more to improve the company’s performance. After all, they have “more skin into the game,“ so to speak.

Upstock promotes equity in the workplace

Upstock makes sharing equity possible for many companies that could not afford the cost or complexity of implementing a shared ownership system. It's not just enough to have a legal document sharing ownership. Companies that effectively communicate about the value and quality of their equity to employees and potential investors create an ownership culture that drives company results.

Upstock streamlines the process of sharing equity, allowing companies to easily assign ownership and vesting structures to employees. This makes it easier for companies to use equity as an employee incentive. By using Upstock's unique interface and well-designed tools, companies can do the heavy lifting independently while still ensuring the highest accuracy and compliance with regulations.

After all, it’s not just about the financial aspect of shared ownership; it's also about promoting the ownership mindset within the company. By allowing companies to distribute equity easily to employees, Upstock provides a way to create a more productive and worthwhile working environment for everyone.

Upstock facilitates and promotes equity in the workplace by enabling employers to reward and recognize employees’ performance in tangible ways. By providing employees with equity, employers can show their appreciation and encourage loyalty by allowing employees to share in the company's success. Upstock also creates an alignment of interests, increasing employees’ engagement and willingness to share unique and even innovative ideas over time.

If you're ready to learn more how Upstock can make it simpler for you to promote equity in the workplace, we’d love to hear from you! Contact Upstock now.

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