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How to talk about pay at work

There are plenty of reasons to discuss money with your colleagues. Here's how to do it right.

Many people earn very different salaries to work similar – or in some cases identical – jobs. In some situations, the income differs because two people have different sets of skills, references or experience; in other situations, income differences are based on unconscious or systemic delay around gender or race. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, white women earn 79.7% as much as white men – and black and Hispanic women earn only 85% and 77.7% of what white women earn, respectively.

One way to close these income gaps is to start talking about pay at work. If you want to advocate for yourself and your employees, one of the best tools at your disposal is to share honest and open information about your compensation. However, you should not just walk around and ask your colleagues what they do or share your salary at the next happy hour. Instead, you should approach salary talks like any other difficult workplace conversation: diplomatically, thoughtfully, and appropriately.

We reached out to Lynnette Khalfani-Cox, CEO of financial education firm The Money Coach, New York Times best-selling author and former Wall Street Journal reporter for CNBC, to learn more about how to get the sensitive topic of pay with your colleagues. – whether you are applying for a new job, hoping to be able to negotiate an increase or just want to know if you get paid fairly. [19659007] According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, 79.7% of white women earn as much as white men – and black and Hispanic women earn only 85% and 77.7% of what white women earn, respectively.

In this article: [19659009] Why you should talk about pay at work

Many people feel very uncomfortable talking about money, much less talking to colleagues about how much everyone earns. But talking about pay at work is a skill that can be learned – just like any other workplace you have learned so far.

"One of the benefits [of talking about money] is that you get practice and you become more comfortable talking about pay, about pay in the workplace and about the issues that often remain the kind of secret," Khalfani-Cox said. These covered issues include the pay gap between gender and the racial wealth gap, both of which can affect what you earn on a specific job.

However, there may also be other issues on the table. "It may be that you find out that your peers are becoming more than you, and it may not have to do with obvious inequality or discrimination," Khalfani-Cox explains. Someone else may have references that you do not, for example, or an advanced degree that correlates with a higher salary range.

Your employees can also simply be better at advocating for themselves and their value. If someone on your team makes more money than you, Khalfani-Cox offers a reason why: "Every year, the other person goes in and asks for a merit-based increase, as opposed to just a cost-of-living adjustment." This is why Talking about pay at work is just the first step to making sure you get the right pay.The second – and more important – step is for you to become proficient in the art of negotiation.

Do your homework first

Before you have a pay call with a colleague or industry member, take the time to learn what typical pay areas can be for people in your position. "I do not think you should start the conversation with another person without first doing your own homework and research," advises Khalfani -Cox. "The information is very handy."

Websites such as Glassdoor, Payscale and Salary.com can all help you determine the salary range of people in your industry, role and region. If possible, try to learn which a salary range that your company offers (or, if you are in the job market, your future company) – if an employer pays significantly above or below the regular salary range, this is useful information.

You can also use the resources of different industry groups and organizations. "If you're a black engineer, go up and look for NSBE, the National Society of Black Engineers," says Khalfani-Cox. “These organizations often store salary data and information. They have jobs and you can see salary ranges.

When you start researching a specific company or employer, see if people within that company report different salaries for similar jobs. This may mean that the company is willing to pay more for people with certain references or skills, including negotiation skills. It can also mean that the company routinely offers less compensation to certain types of employees, such as women or minorities.

In short, do as much homework as possible before starting a payroll conversation. "You should not just go up to a colleague and say 'How much do you earn? "You should have a rough idea," Khalfani-Cox explains.

How to start the salary interview

There are a couple of different ways to approach a salary interview with a colleague.If you are currently looking for a job, ask the hiring manager if they can join you in someone in the same team or department. reasons why it's a good idea to talk to a potential colleague before taking a job – it's a great way to learn about workplace culture, work life balance and other aspects of the job that may not come out during the regular interview process. It's also a good time for you to ask about compensation.

"When talking to other people who will do the same job as you do, it is perfectly acceptable to ask them" Can you tell me what the scope of a position is? like this? & # 39; "advises Khalfani-Cox." You do not ask them for their salary. This is the more tactful way of expressing it. "

For example, you may learn that the company offers a wide range of salaries – and you can learn why some employees earn more than others. You can also learn that this potential employer offers the same wage rate for each new hire at a certain level. Either way, you will have more information than when you started the conversation.

If you are currently employed and want to know if you will be compensated fairly compared to your peers, Khalfani-Cox suggests asking you this way: "Here I am right now [in terms of salary]. I will ask for a raise; Do you have a sense of what I should ask for? "

You may know that you do much less than the others in your department; conversely, you may find that you earn more than the colleague you just asked for advice." In in that case, Khalfani-Cox says, "you have helped that person."

You may find that you earn more than the colleague you just asked for advice. "In that case, Khalfani-Cox says, 'you helped that person. "

When you negotiate, focus on your value

Once you've got a good idea of ​​what your salary should be, it's time to start negotiating – but do not make the mistake of saying that you deserve a certain level of compensation because "Someone else in your company or industry earns so much. Instead, focus on the value you get for the position and the organization, whether you are negotiating as part of the hiring process or meeting with your supervisor to discuss an annual raise.

" I believe 100% that you should only focus on the value you give, "says Khalfani-Cox. Be prepared to talk about the projects you have completed, the sales you have closed, the customers you have brought in and all other concrete, documentable results that prove that you provide added value to the company.

If you & # 39; re applying for a new job, try to avoid having salary interviews until the employer has already given you an oral or written offer. "When a job donors are more invested in you, you have more leverage to actually negotiate, "explains Khalfani-Cox. "Do not throw out a number until you have a chance to explain who you are and the value you can give the organization."

If you are negotiating a pay rise, be prepared to advocate for yourself – and be sure. Khalfani-Cox used to manage a team of 22 writers and editors, many of whom tried to negotiate salary increases during their tenure with the company. "I can tell you unequivocally: The people who were confident in their work, who knew their value to the organization, who demanded higher wages, they got it."

To learn more about the negotiation process, Khalfani-Cox offers a course in The Art of Negotiating for Women. You may also want to consider the resources of Ask a Manager, where former non-profit manager Alison Green shares her advice on everything from negotiating a compensation package to asking for a raise to talking about pay with your employees.

Here is one more piece of advice from Lynnette Khalfani-Cox: "At the end of the day, there is much more upward value and value in talking about pay issues than there is potential for risk or disadvantage." If you are worried about discussing pay at work, you can use these tips to prepare for the conversation. Remember that you do not always have to discuss pay with people in your workplace; If you would rather not discuss the subject with your colleagues, you can talk to someone who works a similar job at another company or share your thoughts in an online group for people in your industry. Whichever path you choose, do not let your fear of discussing money stop you from earning what you are worth.

Our Editorial Policy

Haven Life is a customer-centric life insurance agency supported and wholly owned by the Massachusetts Mutual Life Insurance Company (MassMutual). We believe that navigating life insurance decisions, your personal finances and general wellbeing can be refreshingly easy.

Our Editorial Policy

Haven Life is a customer-centric life insurance agency supported and wholly owned by the Massachusetts Mutual Life Insurance Company (MassMutual). We believe that navigating life insurance decisions, your personal finances and general wellbeing can be refreshingly easy.

Our content is created for educational purposes only. Haven Life does not support the companies, products, services or strategies discussed here, but we hope they can make your life a little less difficult if they fit your situation.

Haven Life does not have the right to provide tax, legal or investment advice. This material is not intended to be provided and should not be relied upon for tax, legal or investment advice. Individuals are encouraged to seek advice from their own taxes or legal attorneys.

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Haven Term is a term life insurance policy (DTC and ICC17DTC in some states, including NC) issued by the Massachusetts Mutual Life Insurance Company (MassMutual), Springfield, MA 01111-0001 and is offered exclusively through Haven Life Insurance Agency, LLC. In NY, Haven Term DTC-NY is 1017. In CA, Haven Term is DTC-CA 042017. Haven Term Simplified is a Simplified Lifetime Insurance Policy (ICC19PCM-SI 0819 in some states, including NC) issued by C.M. Life Insurance Company, Enfield, CT 06082. Police and rider form numbers and functions may vary depending on the permit and may not be available in all states. Our agency license number in California is OK71922 and in Arkansas 100139527.

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