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Unfairness Calls for Resignations

When you dig deep, unfairness is probably the most common reason people resign. Yup, this basic theory from psychology could save organisations millions but why would we pay attention to it? Google Adam's Equity Theory. 


This theory is probably the most prevalent one unfolding in the workplace, often culminating in resignations. How? Simply reflect on why you truly resigned the last time.


  • It wasn't because they didn't pay the bonus; it was because they promised it.

  • It wasn't due to receiving a disciplinary action, but rather an unjust one. You don't care about disciplinary measures per se, but you do care about being disciplined unfairly.

  • It wasn't about your colleague's lack of performance necessitating you to pick up the slack, but because it's unfair for you to do extra work for the same pay.

  • It wasn't about being shouted at by your boss, but rather because it was an unfair reprimand. You can handle the shouting if it's warranted.

  • It wasn't because you were demoted, but because you weren't given support to improve, and demotion without support is inherently unfair.

  • It's not because you didn't get that internal promotion, and they brought in an external candidate, but because they overlooked and never even considered you.

  • It's not because you didn't get a salary increase, but because they made a massive profit and denied the increase.


Make no mistake; people don't leave because of these occurrences; they leave because they perceive your actions as unfair. Yet, you don't consider this when making decisions.


People react strongly to unfairness, and when it becomes a recurring theme, they close the door on you very quickly. However, you may not see this because you continue to attribute departures to reasons like "Michael left because he got upset over his disciplinary." No, Michael left because the disciplinary action was unfair.



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