Speaking of talking about salary…


Here’s an article about an interesting report on salary disclosure in the workplace. And I call it interesting because it backs up what I have always said (yeah, I am like that); nothing good comes from sharing salary details in the workplace. It’s kind of like eating Twinkies. You can’t help yourself, but afterward you feel sick.

In a situation where salaries are made public, the high earners don’t care and the low earners exhibit negative behavior (and feel bad). What the report didn’t detail is the differential skillsets between workers. Maybe the higher earners had a specific skill that the low earners didn’t. That might not be the case, but I think that the research can’t really stand on its own without additional facts. But the point is made.

So where I fantasized about a salary negotiation scenario where everything was on the table, once inside the company I prefer more discretion. It’s kind of like telling your S.O. how many people you slept with.  There’s no number you can say that is going to help. It’s much better to zip it.

(Tip: Manaster)

Comments (10)

  1. David manaster says:

    In my first job out of college I shared an office with a finance guy whose lips were a little too loose about salary info, and I've seen first hand how much havoc it can cause.  

    …And good to see that someone actually reads my tweets!

  2. HeatherLeigh says:

    Of course I do! I will admit that there are some folks tweets that I look past due to sheer volume. But you are one of the handful I pay attention to. Now start a blog so I have something to link to. You know…in your spare time.

  3. tod says:

    What do you think about the transparency of job titles?  For example, we have SDE, SDE 2, Senior SDE and Partner SDE.  Everyone knows which levels are associated with each title so they can estimate a co-worker's level (hence salary as well).  This also makes it easy to notice promotions as a title changes.  Personally, I think it's a good thing, but I can see where the granularity of actual salary would cause issues.

  4. HeatherLeigh says:

    I had dinner with a co-worker last night and she said on her team, they announce promos. I have mixed feelings. Depends on if the team is motivated by that type of thing. I can see where it could be negative for some. Really opens up a lot of speculation. For me, I would just rather not know and get recognized for good work irrespective of title and level. I think if a leader is going to do that, they need to think about and develop a team culture where that works.

    We don't have the numeric titles over here so not sure how that feels. But there can be a big pay range within those titles. So I'm not sure that they are very telling.

  5. RB says:

    what do executives make at MS?

  6. HeatherLeigh says:

    You have access to the same executive comp info as I do. Public companies are required to disclose it.

  7. RB says:

    where do I find it?

  8. Victoria says:

    Love the Twinkies analogy!! 🙂

  9. RB says:

    how much did they pay that allard guy? I can't find that info.

  10. HeatherLeigh says:

    You're done RB. Move along.

    Victoria – thanks! We have all had that experience, right?