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Does Your Boss Simply Not Know That You Feel Underpaid?

Topics: Career Advice
Boss and Worker Meeting
Image Credit: kupicoo/Getty Images

Do you think that you’re paid fairly? Do you feel appreciated at work? Based on new research published in PayScale’s 2017 Compensation Best Practices Report (CBPR), the odds are that you answered “no” to both of those questions.

As reported in the CBPR, only 20 percent of respondents to our survey said they feel they’re paid fairly, and only 45 percent said they feel appreciated at work. By itself, this is a problem. Potentially a bigger problem: when we asked employers how their employees were likely to answer these questions, employers severely overestimated their employees’ satisfaction.

The Corporate Chasm

Forty-four percent of employers believe employees at their organization feel they are paid fairly, and fully 64 percent of employers believe their employees feel appreciated. We refer to the difference between employee and employer perception as “the corporate chasm.”

Obviously, there’s gonna be a connection here; if you feel underpaid, you’re probably not going to feel appreciated.

What’s interesting, however, is that a separate PayScale study showed that even if you, the employee, feel underpaid, as long as your employer explains why your salary is what it is, you’re more likely to feel “satisfied” at your company. Makes sense, right? Nobody likes being in left the dark.

Take Steps to Remedy the Situation

That’s why, if you believe you’re underpaid and/or you don’t feel appreciated, we suggest scheduling a conversation with your boss. Talk it out. Maybe there’s a valid reason for your salary, or maybe—as the CBPR indicates as likely—there’s simply a disconnect or miscommunication. Whatever the outcome, having open, transparent conversations about pay will likely improve your job satisfaction, and they’ll benefit you and your employer in the long run.

We know from research—we do a lot of research around here—that 75 percent of people who ask for a raise get some sort of increase. And people who don’t negotiate salary are at risk of losing hundreds of thousands of dollars in pay over the course of their career.

Do You Know What You're Worth?

Prepare for your conversation by reading the PayScale Salary Negotiation Guide or by taking the PayScale Salary Survey and snagging a free salary report, which will give you the subjective data you need to prove your value to your company. Having those facts on hand will make it easier to start the conversation from a place of transparency and trust.

Give it a try. Odds are, you’ll be happy you did.

Tell Us What You Think

Do you think your employer knows how you feel about your salary? And do you feel appreciated at work? We want to hear about your experience. Share with our community on Twitter, or leave your comment below.


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