The moment you hear this, get out of the organization.
I have no idea why people have this strange idea. Maybe it came from management, maybe it came from the society at large. Wherever it came from, it is toxic!
Recently, I have had a few incidences where this came up.
First, a small project for college. I developed (as in programmed, not designed) the website for college. All well and good. When it came to about us page, I wanted to have a little bio and 2 links under my image (I did not charge anything, so this was fair enough).
Out came one of the presidents with the idea that everyone should be equal and hence no bio.
Ok, what about the links?
Everyone does not have a website, so only email ID. (There was another gem in the conversation but let’s leave that for later)
So, I’ve spent some 30 hours on the website and in the end, people have balls to ask me to not even get a link. I put in quite a lot of time and in the end, I was placed in a group “equal” to others.
My enthusiasm for the project died that day.
Another thing that happened in college recently was a meeting with Department of Corporate Affairs(Training and Placement Cell).
In the first 15 minutes of meeting between DCA officers and student coordinators, we had this gem:
All of you are equal for us, so we have to place you all.
All well and good. But then they went on to make rules that essentially limit the brighter students from getting multiple placement offers.
Again, an example of “everyone is equal” syndrome.
What is the use of studying and hard work for me if I am one of the bright students and I still get equal chances. All the work has effectively been wasted.
Why Does Management Suffer From “All People Are Equal”?
My theory is to stay away from hard work.
You want to see an example of HR done right, see Google. With Google, no decisions are made based on “everyone is equal” theory. They use analytics. Real numbers based on performance.
Now all this requires good deal of intelligent people and resources. Since many corporations are not willing to invest in these, the management resorts to treating everyone as equal.
This Will Suffocate Good People
While it looks like a good solution from an HR perspective, it will eventually suffocate good people.
Google’s Analytics said that top people can be 300 times better than other employees! But do they get 300 times the pay? No!
And when they do not, they will get frustrated.
In short, “all are equal for me” is the easy way out but never the best. If you plan to do good things, avoid this.