Make Money , Personal Finance

How To Talk About Salary

By David Krug David Krug is the CEO & President of Bankovia. He's a lifelong expat who has lived in the Philippines, Mexico, Thailand, and Colombia. When he's not reading about cryptocurrencies, he's researching the latest personal finance software. 4 minute read

Has compensation become taboo in your company? You have the power to alter the atmosphere and, in some cases, earn more money. Being asked how much money you make is a difficult topic to broach. What you make is a sensitive subject for both sexes, whether you’re talking about it over dinner or in the office cafeteria.

Why is it necessary to discuss salary?

Even while discussing our personal money is still mainly considered taboo, this shouldn’t be the case. Recognizing your worth requires that you talk about how much money you make and whether or not it’s less than your peers. For others, it might be an opportunity to receive equal remuneration for equal effort.

Melanie L. Denny, a career counselor at Your Career Empowerment Coach, thinks this is a crucial subject to bring up, particularly with coworkers you encounter on a daily basis.
Denny thinks that bringing these issues to the surface empowers workers and allows them to demand fair compensation. It has been said that “knowledge is power,” and removing the veil of secrecy surrounding salaries gives workers more leverage in wage negotiations.

Increase your coworkers’ earning potential by being the one who brings in more money than everyone else does. If you’re the one making less money, you should be able to figure out how to increase your earnings. You may learn a lot about how much other people make by looking at what they make.

What’s holding us back

Saying we’ll be honest about pay is one thing, but really participating in the conversation is quite another. As simple as it sounds, it may not be allowed by some corporate laws, it’s not as simple as it sounds.

A lot of firms don’t allow employees to talk about money in the workplace. A key motivating factor is a fear of going into jail for communicating salary information.” Remember that the National Labor Relations Act gives you the legal right to discuss your compensation at work. As such, even if your employer has a policy in place that prohibits it, remember that federal rights do exist.

However, it may not be your company’s policies that are keeping you from making progress. It’s possible that the scope of the project goes much beyond that. It’s hard to bring up the subject of money because of the bad connotation it has, adds Denny. When someone asks, “How much do you earn?” it is considered disrespectful and invasive.”

As a result, we tend to believe that it will disappear if we don’t talk about it. Denny argues that by avoiding these exchanges, we save ourselves the trouble of having to deal with them. It’s easier not to talk about it, she adds. “In order to prevent confrontation, we avoid having dialogues.”

Is the solution an open salary?

Some organizations, rather than keeping salaries a closely guarded secret, go the opposite route and make it clear to employees what they may expect in terms of compensation.

Open wage is the practice of disclosing the salaries of everyone in a company, from the CEO to the lowest-paid employees. Pay transparency varies from firm to company, but in general, everyone knows how much they are paid. What you are paid isn’t something to keep quiet about; rather it’s a dialogue about how much you’re worth.

Denny says he would want to see a future where the wage is an issue that can be discussed openly by everyone. Gender and racial discrepancies would be exposed, resulting in a more level playing field.

It’s a good thing that certain corporations be open about how much money they make. An employee-approved salary disclosure policy was implemented by social media management firm Buffer, according to LinkedIn. And it paid off: after a month, the number of people applying for available positions had more than doubled.

How to start the conversation

People who are used to keeping their finances private may be uncomfortable with the idea of changing their ways of thinking. In order to do it in a respectful manner, there are a number of options.

Making friends with your coworkers may be a helpful first step if you’re having trouble bringing it up. Before bringing up the subject of compensation, take this opportunity to build rapport with your coworkers and discover mutual interests. As a last resort, Denny advises that you bring up money-related subjects to get an idea of how your coworkers react.

Instead of probing for the price of their expensive handbag or timepiece, she advises, “ask other, less invasive inquiries first.” “Watch their reactions. Be aware of their facial expressions. This individual may not be the greatest person to compare salaries with if they are uneasy.”

Instead of inquiring about the salaries of others, it’s a good idea to mention your own. In Denny’s opinion, it is a good idea to tell your coworker about your recent increase or bonus. Giving them a reason to celebrate their success might encourage them to do the same.
Being at work might also put an end to money conversations with your coworkers. It’s simple to overhear conversations at work.

To avoid bringing up the subject in the office, Denny advises. Take a coworker out to lunch or wait until happy hour to bring it up. By the water cooler, you never know who’s looking or listening. Talking about money with your coworkers isn’t a bad idea. One conversation might have a lasting impact on your professional life.

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