Keeping employees happy could be easier than you think — and it won’t cost anything.
Job satisfaction might be less about pay and more about transparency between employers and employees, according to a recent story by Bloomberg. Bosses who offer salary information to their workers often counteract something many workers incorrectly believe — that they’re underpaid. Two 2015 reports by PayScale, a website that compiles salary data, found that 64% of fairly-compensated employees think they are paid below market rate. Among those actually paid above the market rate, only 21% realised so, according to the story.
Discussing salary can be uncomfortable, which could explain why many people don’t understand market rates and what’s “fair” when it comes to their pay. PayScale found that the number of satisfied workers jumped from 40% to 82% when managers openly discussed salary with them.
"Fixing the perception gap in pay doesn’t cost any money for companies. But it requires companies to teach managers how not to run away from the conversation,” Tim Low, PayScale’s vice president of marketing, told Bloomberg.
To make this difficult conversation a little easier, companies should provide training to managers on how to conduct “salary talks” — how to offer detailed information on fair ranges of pay for jobs and calculate real-time salary data for their business, the story reported. PayScale estimated that less than 50% of employers provide managers with training for this kind of discussion or offer salary data.
As salary data becomes more widely available online, employees can better estimate their fair pay. To avoid this salary envy, try to not compare salaries too much — focus on what you have related to the work that you do, not on what you don’t have.
And even though some people are paid more fairly than they might think, PayScale reported that 83% of those who thought they were underpaid really did receive salaries below market rate. If you’re one of them, here are some steps to take before knocking on your boss’s door.