My Colleague earns More Than I do?


Last week, I was reading the pages of some of my favorite personal finance blogs when I read the above named comment made by a reader regarding salary irregularities within the workplace.  This particular reader was considering leaving the organization unless the employer increased her salary.

While I empathize with the reader, I was struck by the realization that a lot of employees face these issues on a daily basis. Sadly, employers are choosing to turn a blind eye to salary inequalities going on in the workplace especially for employees on the same job grade.

When I got my first job, I was told that discussing your salary was a taboo amongst employees and so, for a very long time, I never knew how much my colleagues on the same job role as I was were earning till I stumbled across their pay slip. I was struck with the huge differences between what I earned and what other colleagues were earning. I raised my concern with my manager then and he said something regarding performance pay being tied to my salary. What it meant was that if I desired a better salary, I had to work very hard for it.

However, my contention with this notion was that the job role in question had no fixed figure as a starting base before considering performance. This continued for some time till colleagues who were not satisfied with their pay resigned and left for other companies who were wiling to pay a more attractive market anchor rate. Human resource became concerned with people’s indifference to work and decided to conduct a survey, which revealed that about 95% of the employees within my workplace were considering leaving.

Various committees were set up and I was part of the chosen few selected to represent a large pool of my peers. During the sessions, we actually encouraged honest feedbacks and drew up action plans for top management to consider, while insisting that the company had to pay competitive salaries in order to retain it’s large pool of talents. At the end of the day, we were able to arrive at a better market anchor rate for ourselves and peers within the same job role now receive the same salary.

If you’re in this position, I usually advise that you conduct an audit of the skills (personal and professional) you’ve acquired within your present role. Also think of adding value to yourself by going for further trainings and workshops that will enhance you career prospects. If after doing this, your employer does not consider a salary review, then it’s time to move on. However, bear in mind that most times, especially for an organization that has reached a rapid growth rate in terms of its talent resource pool, space at the top may be limited resulting in little or no opportunity for employee growth. 

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