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Keeping Things Fair

Some leaders may be hesitant to recognize employees because of concerns around fairness. Here are some steps to help you feel more confident.

Discuss with your team and identify which TMU values your unit, department or faculty can best support.

Communicate your expectations. Let all employees know which actions, behaviours and results you are looking to see. Tell your team that you’re looking to recognize employees demonstrating TMU and faculty or department values.

Establishing clear recognition criteria upfront minimizes misunderstanding around why someone is being recognized for their efforts. It should be clear how the individual or team helped move the group toward the goal. 

Be consistent in recognizing those employees who are demonstrating the values and meeting them.

Examine your own inherent biases that may lead you to recognize some employees over others.

Focus on each employee's strengths and look for opportunities to recognize everyone in some way over time.

Set clear and meaningful goals. Tell your employees their responsibilities and how these fit into the overarching goals of the university.

Speak openly with your employees. Have honest discussions about individual performance, goals and progress on a regular basis. Hold employees accountable when they fall short.

Aim to acknowledge all employees regularly using a variety of methods. This approach helps employees feel each of them has the opportunity to be recognized for a job well done.

Consider including recognition activities that recognize a few people at a time as individuals or teams, rather than focusing only on one individual’s achievements.


  • Focus on individual performance rather than factors like seniority or position responsibilities.
  • To get started, consider recognizing small teams as opposed to focusing on one individual’s achievements.
  • Create peer recognition initiatives and opportunities to engage everyone in creating a culture of appreciation.
  • To get started, consider recognizing small teams, rather than focusing on one individual’s achievements.
  • For assistance in creating equitable and inclusive recognition practices contact