Q I recently got hired by a big corporate and after conversations with one of my colleagues, I realised that here; salaries vary greatly depending on an individual’s negotiating power. Shouldn’t salaries be determined by an individual’s qualifications, output and ability to grow? These type of negotiations are not my strong points. Will I always have a lower salary than my colleague despite the amount of work I put in?
Several factors could bring about salary disparities among peers performing the same job including the levels of performance; depth of experience; scarcity of skills and, to some extent, the ability to negotiate pay especially when joining an organisation.
Although it is not always the case, employees who move across organisations over time tend to earn a bit more than those who do not. Salaries for the same job however need to belong to a range that is sufficiently wide to accommodate differentiation yet narrow enough to prevent glaring disparities.
Whether or not you are a proficient negotiator, it is important to do your homework before joining an organisation in order to have some appreciation of the salary for a position in which you take interest, which might include reaching out to a HR acquaintance in search of useful insights.
It is easier for existing employees to renegotiate pay if their contribution is highly valued and obvious to the organisation. How does your organisation view your performance?
If you are certain that the disparity between your pay and that of your peers is yawning and that you meet performance standards, you could approach your supervisor and indicate that based on your contribution you expect a reward similar to that of your peers.
From your discussion you might glean useful feedback concerning your contribution to the organisation or, better still, pleasantly discover that there is room for the adjustment of your salary.
Assuming that pay rises are pegged to performance in your organisation and your performance is consistently above average, the relatively greater salary increments may help you shore up to your peers.
While parity is important, your pay should primarily be driven by your contribution to the organisation and not yoked to your peers’ salaries. Cloning salaries is often a prop for organisations that are either not prepared to acknowledge differences in employee contribution and circumstances or those unable to tell equality and parity apart.
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