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Uncomfortable discussions about staff pay

Talk about pay and avoid the broken backs

Here are a couple of options for things you could do right now. Please choose your preference.

  1. Confront someone about something that you are quite certain will turn into an uncomfortable discussion
  2. Anything else

For those that chose option 1, you can stop reading. The rest of you please stay with me. It’s no secret that the majority of us would rather do almost anything that initiate conflict. And one of the sure fire ways to get emotions running hot is to confront someone about money…right?

So is it fair to assume that it is generally confronting for your team members to talk to you about their pay rates – that is until they are almost at breaking point. They might bail you up and blurt out something like “I can’t cope with this rate of pay. My friends earn much more than me. If I can’t get a rise I have to look for another job because I work hard and I heard that Julie in accounts earns more ….”

So what’s the simplest way to avoid confrontational conversations?

Have them frequently so they are not topics of conflict. Talk about pay rates (formally) at least every 6 months. Make it a safe and regular discussion. Try asking team members this simple question – “Do you feel you are being paid what you are worth?” (The key word there is ‘worth’) There are no dangerous answers to that question.

To remove virtually all conflict out of pay discussions you simply to need to install ‘proof’. That is, provide your team members with processes that give them the proof that they are, or equally are not, worth more. And if they have proof they’re worth more, pay them with a smile on your face because you will have won 5 fold. If the proof shows they’re not, help them put a plan into place to prove otherwise.

Yours in prosperity and fun

Jeff Austin

Actual to Ideal
Business Coach

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