Jordan Weissmann’s article Coming Out at Work starts the dialogue on why we should stop salary secrecy. I myself work at a company who has the invisible rule that we are not supposed to talk about pay. However, each time I got a promotion it was hard to negotiate because I had no idea what my predecessors or colleagues in the same position were paid. Even though as Weissman states there are laws that protect employees, if you work in the private sector it is very hard to not put your job in jeopardy if you do so.
By not making salaries public causes the employer/employee relationship to become combative. Some employees believe that they are not getting their fair share and view employers as a secret organization plotting against them. This then trickles down to the relationships between staff, where everyone assumes the other is getting more than them.
There are always as Weissmann states employees who will view someone who makes more than them as a negative. However, for those of who would like to negotiate salaries based on fact, not fiction, need to understand how salaries are calculated and see pay scales based on current positions. Especially, if we come in with the same qualifications as our peers.
Many companies worry about employee morale. I believe one of the best ways to boost morale is to have open and honest conversations about pay. For employers, it could also attract more qualified employees looking to change or start a new career.
Salaries = Value
I had to revisit this post again because this conversation has come up not only at my job, but also when I talk to other friends and colleagues who work in other industries. Many of us are getting older and experiencing life events like buying a home, marriage or having children. But, many of us cannot enjoy them fully because we’re worried that our current salaries will not help us achieve other life goals. How can we make our employers understand that salary is a way to make us feel like we are valued and our hard work is appreciated?
I would love to hear how you have dealt with this issue at your current place of employment. What strategies have you used to break the silence or to reach your salary goals? And don’t forget to subscribe and follow me on Instagram and Twitter.