Talking about his salary is still a taboo

Jaser de son salaire demeure un tabou

In a working world that values more and more transparency, there is a clear impression that the salary is not part of the equation… Even today, talking about his salary in the workplace remains a taboo for many.

While Quebecers are, for the most part, to be comfortable discussing their salary with their partner (83 %) and their family (75 %), they are much less well with their friends (62 %) and their colleagues (54 %), according to a survey released in January 2016 by the Ordre des conseillers en ressources humaines agréés du Québec (CRHA).

“Although this is still a taboo topic today, what we’re trying to encourage more practice, it means that the organisations displayed the pay scales when they are recruiting, which was not or very little been the case previously,” says Manon Poirier, CHRP, director general of the Ordre des conseillers en ressources humaines agréés.

Making salaries public can be for a company a step closer towards the attainment of a goal opening. According to Ms. Poirier, the transparency of pay can reduce the impression of unfairness that is picked up and spread by the rumors and false perceptions.

For fair practices

This concern for transparency must, however, be based on equitable practices and on proper communication in order to elicit positive effects, which will lead to certainly a good dose of confidence towards the employer and its internal process concerning the equity.

An american company, Buffer, has also been cited, because it has decided to disseminate on the Web the list of salaries of its employees, including those of the management. This list is accompanied by the equation that explains why an employee earns such a salary.

According to Manon Poirier, it is a practice that could see the light of day in Quebec. “However, it is a practice, still marginal, but it could emerge and can see that this creates a positive among the employees,” she adds.

A study reveals

A study of american-israeli, unveiled in the spring of 2014, argued for his part that the employees often have interest to discuss the amount of their remuneration. The authors of the study entitled” Signaling in secret : Pay for Performance and the Incentive and Sorting Effects of Pay Secrecy, argued, inter alia, that ” when wages are secret, the uncertainty as to the salary steps, flat. Employees are much less likely to believe that better performance will be accompanied by a better salary “.

The authors showed among other things that ” workers perceive the secrecy surrounding salaries as opportunism on the part of their employer, a way to manipulate “.


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