5 Tips For Healthy Salary Discussions

Research shows that discussing money at work is such a dreaded topic, that many avoid it together.

Yet, everyone wants to have fair pay and ensure their employer sees their worth. So, as uncomfortable and intimidating as it may be, it is a crucial conversation to be had to ensure compensation expectations are always met.  Healthy salary discussions around pay create a space that fosters open dialogue that is respectful to all parties involved.

Whether negotiating salary for a new employee or looking for a raise for an existing employee, knowing how to approach the conversation can work in your favor. You don’t have to avoid the conversation; you just have to know where, when, and how to go about it.   

Check out these 5 healthy ways to discuss pay that establish confidence and take the uncomfortable aspects of the topic away for good!

1. Stay Levelheaded   

Imagine finding out you may be getting underpaid at work. Naturally, your emotions are heightened, and your first reaction may be storming your manager’s office or the HR department. There’s nothing wrong with feeling, but there are ways to handle it healthily. So, how do you take this conversation? Step back and look at it from a different light. What makes you think you are being underpaid? Are you exceeding your key performance metrics for the role? Have you gained new skills? Are you contributing to the company’s success in ways you weren’t hired for? Keep track of all your accomplishments, and when the time is right, you have them on hand. It is your responsibility to make your achievements visible to your employer and show how everyone benefits from them. Focus on what’s relevant to the conversation and keep it positive!  

2. Think Win-Win  

Sure, the goal for an employee is to get the salary they are seeking, while the company’s goal is to maintain salary structures as planned. Discussing salary can easily have one party against the wall and feel pressured to make a move. It is never a good idea to start a conversation with only what benefits one over the other. The goal is for both parties to feel like they are both winning. Your approach should be more of what’s in it for you and what’s in it for the company. You don’t want a resentful manager; you want a manager committed to you and who values your worth for your work!  

3. Respond Well to The Outcome  

The conversation can go as you planned or go a different way. Regardless of the outcome, remain respectful and open-minded. Your manager may bring points to the conversation you didn’t think of when preparing for the meeting. Listen to their point of view and acknowledge it. Most importantly, keep your cool and focus on the matter at hand. This is not the opportunity to bring someone else’s salary. This is the opportunity to let your accomplishments shine. According to your current skillset, let your manager know what the market is paying for your job.   

4. Do Your Research 

Knowing the job market information for the role you are interested in is part of your preparation. Being prepared not only eases you in carrying out a well-rounded conversation with your manager or HR department but also boosts your confidence. There’s no such thing as being too prepared. When preparing, consider several angles for information including your location, cost of living, similar roles, tenure, growth positions, the role’s KPI, or similar role’s KPI. You know your worth, but what is your worth on the job market? What value do you bring to your role? Keep in mind that many outcomes may come out of your conversation. For example, you may get the salary you wish for, but if you don’t, are you willing to accept other benefits your manager may offer, such as increased PTO, bonuses, or a promotion? It is your responsibility to come prepared for any scenario. The employer does not always have the budget or the flexibility to meet all your salary expectations. Prepare for pushback!   

5. Keep Discussions Around Pay Flowing

The best thing for both employers and employees is to keep discussions around pay at the forefront. Discussing salary in the workplace should never be an uncomfortable situation if addressed more often. When annual performance reviews come up, this is an opportunity for both parties to discuss the current salary openly and determine raises when applicable. You don’t have to wait until the annual review. By staying on top of the job market, what is fair, and competitive pay for your role, you can confidently tackle these discussions with your manager.  

Final Thoughts  

The idea of discussing pay is not to get the raise you want when you want it. Keep in mind that a job can still be a great fit for job seekers even if the pay is not visible. So, don’t exit left right away, have a healthy conversation about salary expectations, and go from there.  

Healthy salary discussions involve job market research, showing the growth and the impact of your work through your tenure. For the employer, it means being open to listening to their team or job seeker to create a fair and competitive place to work for. Finally, mutual respect is crucial when discussing compensation, as it is a complex topic with more layers than you may know.  

These healthy pay discussions aim to foster better company culture and lower employee retention rates.  

Healthy Pay Discussions is The SkillGigs Way  

SkillGigs is a talent marketplace that prioritizes pay transparency to create healthier relationships between employer and employee. Our talent marketplace makes it easy for employers and employees to display salary details, enabling a more transparent conversation with one another. We have our e-commerce style, and talent marketplace bidding system to thank for that.  

With bids, employers can communicate with you directly about hourly and/or salary rates calculated by our bidding technology. Healthy salary discussions can be possible. 

Sign up today! A great healthy partnership starts with SkillGigs.

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