Transparency and authenticity goes a long way in supporting positive employee relations. That being said, some managers are uncomfortable with their employees sharing salary and compensation details amongst colleagues. It’s not uncommon for companies to add non-disclosure agreements into their employee contracts which specifically prohibits the discussion of compensation packages. Although employers would prefer to keep this information confidential, the Labor Relations Act of Canada protects the rights of employees to organize and to disclose their salary information if they choose to.

So, what can you do?

Rather than implementing a non-enforceable ban on these conversations, we suggest you instead engage in meaningful dialogue to create awareness amongst team members on how your organization wishes to handle the situation. Clearly communicate to all managers and staff that you are more than happy to discuss the compensation structure with interested parties individually. Invite your employees to have an open conversation with their manager concerning their current salary, desired career path and areas for development to help them move their career in the direction they would like to be in. Authentic conversation with actionable items to build their career can help employees feel confident. It showcases that your organization is invested in their growth and development.

Situation: An employee questions their salary against a colleague; how can you handle this?

This may be an uncomfortable situation for all involved. You can diffuse any tension by reminding them that salaries are based on a range, with many variables and contributing factors. Discuss the salary range for their position and explain how their earnings were ascertained along that grid. Outline what the maximum earning potential is for their position and how you determine when someone has earned a raise, including factors such as whether your company bases internal movement on performance, tenure, or some combination thereof. This gives the employee knowledge and tools to help shape their own career trajectory, and to seek opportunities for additional training and development.

Main Takeaway:

All employees want to feel that they’re being compensated according to fair and equitable business practices. Including employees in the conversation is key to helping to create and sustain positive employee relations. Remember the following:

  • Communicate that salaries are determined on a range/grid schematic and may vary amongst colleagues.
  • Establish clear annual objectives and professional development that can contribute to salary increases.
  • Define each role’s maximum earning potential.
  • Encourage advancement and growth.

If you’d like advice on how to address a situation like this, contact us and we’d be happy to help you create a plan to resolve this or any other HR issue. Have a question you’d like to see featured here? Email us at [email protected]