Conversations about pay can be tough — especially when they involve disagreement or confusion around pay or the reasons for a pay decision, or the perception of pay inequity. For these difficult discussions, it’s important to equip your managers with the tools they need to navigate these conversations successfully.
Here are five things you can teach your managers to prepare them to talk pay.
It’s okay for an employee to ask for more money
Many managers spend a lot of time trying to avoid situations where employees might ask for more money. This may or may not be subconscious — and I’ve been guilty of it myself. Overall, it seems to come from a place of wanting to avoid being asked for something you can’t provide.
Managers often put a lot of personal stake in being able to “provide for” or “take care of” their teams. While that mindset is a whole other topic, the truth is, the first thing you might need to teach some managers is that it’s okay for employees to ask for more money. Even if a manager is not in a place to give it.
On the other side of the spectrum, some managers get offended by this question when they have worked to get the budget for increases, or fought for a pay raise or a promotion. They may have even delayed hiring or forfeited a pay raise of their own to distribute it among their team.
These managers probably need a reminder that their team is not necessarily aware of all this, and that’s okay. It’s not typically appropriate to complain to an employee about all the hard work you put in to get them an increase.
(Note: If you know of any managers starting pay conversations with “If only you knew how hard I worked to get this for you,” nip that in the bud right away.)