Half of Your Employees Think They Are Underpaid. Here’s What You Can Do About It

by Evil HR Lady on November 16, 2018

Do you pay your employees fairly? Of course! You did your research when making salary offers, you award regular cost of living raises and you pay for their overtime work. Still, according to a recent study by Robert Half, 46 percent of employees feel that they are underpaid.

This, of course, doesn’t necessarily indicate the truth about salary, since these particular findings are based on feelings. I’m a fan of dealing in facts, so I’d want to double check everyone’s salaries, and, depending on my findings, come back and say, “Yep, even though you feel like you’re underpaid, you’re not. Now get back to work.”

But, that’s bad management advice. People’s perceptions are their realities. If you simply dismiss their concerns with “I’ve double checked, and you’re not underpaid,” it’s not likely to fix how they’re feeling, which could lead to disengagement over time. Instead, if an employee approaches you to discuss their salary, I’d recommend taking the following steps.

To keep reading, click here: Half of Your Employees Think They Are Underpaid. Here’s What You Can Do About It

{ 7 comments… read them below or add one }

Dan November 16, 2018 at 6:00 pm

One is worth what they can negotiate. Pay should be based off of the value that one brings to their employer, period. I’d wager “because I do a good job” is serious reason to consider a raise – if I’m actually doing a *better* job, and delivering increasing value to the business year after year, my pay should be increasing with the value that I bring. If I’m not improving in my value proposition, then there’s really not much argument for a raise (that is, unless my employer doesn’t want me to quit.)

At my first professional job, I was learning more and becoming more productive, but my pay was flat. This was 2009-2012, and the company had plenty of excuses about “the economy.” I received no increase in compensation for three straight years, yet my rent in a high COL area kept going up.

At that point, it had nothing to do with what I “know” other companies pay, and everything to do with the company telling me they weren’t valuing my services.

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Gene November 16, 2018 at 7:23 pm

If Steve is writing code to automate tasks, should he then be paid more for writing the code, or less because now, instead of doing {task} he clicks his mouse and {task} is done for him? Any minimum wage worker can click the mouse.

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Millennial Perspective November 19, 2018 at 8:28 pm

Yeah but they can’t fix it when it ineviatbly breaks. They also did not add the value of automating so that the programmer could take on other tasks.

To be blunt – if you treat your automaters as expendable once they automate then you can look forward to hiring a ton of people who hoard their tasks and try desperately to resist antprocess improvement. In short your payroll will bloat.

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jdgalt November 17, 2018 at 3:47 am

Comparisons with what others make would be a really useful guide for people negotiating both sides of this issue. Unfortunately, many employers will still fire you if you reveal what you’re paid to co-workers, or sometimes even off the job. And professional organizations have had salary surveys shut down by the government as being anti-trust violations.

Giving employees a legal right to (voluntarily) share this information would be good for everybody.

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grannybunny November 19, 2018 at 4:50 pm

Employees already have the legal right to share salary information.

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Iain @ ISL November 19, 2018 at 6:06 pm

Simple solution: Transparency.

I’m old enough and experienced enough to know that the old ways, where you negotiate salaries with staff individually and swear them to secrecy just doesn’t cut it any more.

In feedback from clients, we’ve heard that some employers believe publishing salaries acts as an incentive to lower paid staff to uyp their game.

Plus, when everyone know’s everyone else’s salary level,. you cut out the source of a lot of negative office gossip.

Just saying 🙂

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..Kat.. November 21, 2018 at 11:18 am

Well, if half of your employees are women, history says you are underpaying half your workers.

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