Confidentially – The Answer’s in the Strategy!

January 12th, 2017
Written by: Dana Papke

The sensitive issue of salary information and why keeping it confidential won’t solve your problems…

So, you really still believe employees don’t compare what they earn with each other? Even if they don’t openly discuss their pay with their work colleagues, they’ll have a pretty good idea of individual salary levels – their own and others. And let’s face it, it’s not difficult to look at Glassdoor or Salary.com to find out what the market rate is for a job.

Unless you want to run the risk of making pay – enough or not enough, fair or unfair – a water cooler issue, it’s important for you, too, to be putting your mind to this matter. You need to have a company compensation strategy that you – and all managers in your organization – understand and can explain when the inevitable pay questions come your way. And they will come – either at performance review time, or from left field when someone thinks he or she has been treated unfairly or has a competitive offer somewhere else.

The first step is to develop an understanding of your employment market and where your pay levels fall within it. When and if people come to you with salary questions, knowing where your company sits in the world of pay ranges at least arms you with a basic foundation so that you can respond clearly and consistently.

But more than just understanding the landscape, it’s essential to spend time and establish your overall compensation strategy, informed by your knowledge of the marketplace. The strategy should be part of your overall financial planning, but more importantly, a clear strategy helps you with recruiting, retention and that all important sense of fairness and transparency that helps maintain a positive working culture.

Next time – how to find out your position in the employment market and how to develop a strategy.

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