Roberto Lopez, an IT Consultant in Toronto, recently signed up to be a beta tester for the Salary Negotiation Academy. Since then he wrote to me about the negative effect being underpaid has had on his happiness:
“I’m an optimist with a service-oriented personality. A lot of times I find that I am sacrificing my own personal objectives so that my organization or other people can reach theirs. After 10 years, this has taken its toll, and I have started to find my situation unfair and it has begun to affect my happiness. If I knew I was valued by my company, it would give me the peace of mind to continue to perform at my peak.”
Roberto makes a great point. If employees who produce their best work and sacrifice for the good of the company are not compensated fairly, they will eventually become frustrated, discontent, and cynical, no longer producing at the level they are capable of. This hurts the employee and the company.
Feeling valued and respected is a universal human need (see esteem). When we spend 50%-70% of our waking hours at work, it shouldn’t be a surprise that not being valued or respected at work will have a massive negative impact our happiness.
While some companies take the long view and fairly compensate their employees, enabling them to do their best work (Alaska Airlines, Southwest, Google), most companies short-sightedly nickel and dime their workers, trying to get each employee at the lowest possible price. This strategy saves money in the short term, but results in a lower return on their investment in the long run. Had they rewarded their high-performing employees with higher salaries when they produce results, it would have resulted in a more committed, happy, and productive workforce in the long run.
But you can’t wait for your employer to be a “noble benefactor” and reward you for your accomplishments. It is your responsibility to advocate for yourself, communicate the value you add to the company, and ask to be fairly compensated. These might not be natural skills for you, but they need to be learned if you want to be fairly compensated and happy at work.
“I know what my strengths are, and sales and negotiating are not it. Why would I let my mediocre negotiating skills limit such an important part of my happiness as my salary? If I am going to give the best of myself, then I expect to be getting the best deal as well.”
Roberto took action by signing up to be a beta tester for the Salary Negotiation Academy, which will allow him to improve his negotiating skills so that he can get paid what he is worth, restore his happiness, and get back to being his best self at work.
Take control of your situation by signing up to be a beta tester for the Salary Negotiation Academy or to be notified when it is live:
Photo Credit: Big Stock, Prosperity’s Kitchen – [Frustrated Businessman]