Shortly after being promoted, I discovered that one of the employees I manage makes significantly more than I do. “Jake” is not even an outstanding performer, yet his pay is 15 percent higher than mine. Because I’m managing a department of 12 people, this makes absolutely no sense.

I don’t have access to salary data, so for all I know, other employees under my watch might also be making more than me. I haven’t mentioned Jake’s salary to management because my promotion included a nice raise and I don’t want to appear ungrateful. However, this doesn’t seem right. What do you think? Payless


Reading this query I was reminded of a post I wrote titled, Most Wanted. I agree with McIntyre that as a manager this supervisor, should politely ask their boss and/or human resources manager for an understanding of how staff are being paid, as reviews and promotions often come with a pay increase. I do think that should be the extent of her knowledge. I do not believe this supervisor should ask for curiosity purposes as McIntyre suggests, if this is a small private business, management may have never implemented a formal compensation plan. Without an organizing structure, salaries just evolve haphazardly over time, resulting in illogical discrepancies. Amazingly, some companies don’t even establish salary caps, so ongoing raises can cause pay to skyrocket well beyond the value of the job. How would you handle this issue?

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2 Responses to Payless

  1. adguru101 says:

    This is common with small, privately-held businesses. Long-time employees may receive steady raises and promotions but when someone is hired from the outside, the company will have to match current market values. If this new employee has frequently changed jobs, he or she may well have bumped up their salary more than the loyal employee. It sucks, but it’s reality.


    • msw blog says:

      I agree it is reality, that small, privately-held businesses, pay is often based on stability, and loyalty. This often causing confusion for outsiders and/or job hoppers to understand the compensation plan. I also think it this supervisor presses the issues she may realize that pay also varies by gender and race leaving her with an even bigger issue to address.


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