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Why your workers want shared information

By Elsbeth McSorley

As your new hires enter the workplace, they’re expecting full disclosure of closely-held company information

Every month, employees are turning to private-sector firms disclosing closely held house secrets—including company financials, individual pay, and even staff performance reviews. Today’s workers are an information-hungry bunch and they’re hankering for cross-workplace information. In the past, discretion was key. Now, incoming hires want full disclosure.

The All-Disclosure Principal

While the full disclosure mindset isn’t new, a lot of employers are having difficulty grasping the perspective. No, coworkers aren’t being needlessly competitive. They aren’t planning to smack you with payment differentiation claims, either. Likely, they’re just curious and anxious in an ever-changing environment.

Today’s workplaces have a few issues with workmanship quality and non-commission positions have historically fought over the who’s-paid-more problem. Likely, your employee salaries and reviews are somewhat subjective. An employee may appear productive to you, but another manager may consider them to be an all-talk-and-no-walk worker. Millennials, in particular, want disclosure to fill the information gap. They want the morale boost.

Employee_Information_.jpgIs Pay Discrepancy Still a Problem?

Fortunately, the modern business world is adapting from the past’s pay discrepancies. Full salary disclosure can eliminate remaining salary discrepancies, but it’s often a road less traveled by big-name entities. Why? Because full disclosure defeats work ethic, creates an all-work-no-play environment, and renders a workplace completely mechanical.

You shouldn’t feel bad for not disclosing individual salaries. Performance-based raises are private for a reason and individual work efforts needn’t be “proven” to anyone. As a decision maker, it’s your right to use discretion.

The Status Quo

That said, pay discrepancy issues do still exist. We live in the Information Age, and modern workers are checking sites like Glassdoor to determine in-house salaries before they’re ever in the door. Other websites, again, similarly provide otherwise private salary information. Coworkers aren’t whispering about wage increases anymore. They’re finding them online.

For this reason, more Millennials are turning to the National Labor Relations Act of 1935 for answers, asserting their right to obtain a “concerted activity for mutual aid and protection.” They’re also flexing their ability to organize negotiation unions concerning hours, wages, and other employment conditions. At the bottom line: Employees, nowadays, are more likely to say their rights have been breached. Whether it’s on paper, online, or on a cold shoulder, workers are stating their dissatisfaction.

Confidential_Info.jpgBalancing the Workplace

Essentially, a boss’s nudge to avoid talking about pay, itself, is a breach of the National Labor Relations Act. Your employees do have rights, after all, and they shouldn’t be dissuaded from exercising them.

For this reason, balancing the modern workplace requires a firm acceptance of technology. Information, now, has pulled employer and employee together. Even if your business’s performance wage increases are low-key, your workers will know. What can you do? You can meet the informed employee with informed responses.

As digital resources take over modern workplaces, HR managers will be expected to pull their own weight in research. As a business provider, a decision maker, a boss, and a leader, it’s your job to ensure transparency in an already transparent world. If your workplace isn’t up to par, thought leadership should be engaged to raise its standards. While pay discrepancy might be justified, any justifying reasons should be fully explainable. In 2016, it’s proactive to assume the employee knows more than they say. As an employer, it’s your job to do the same.

While not a power shift, the modern worker’s want for wage disclosure, benefit matching, and compensation equality is telling. Today’s employees know what they want, and they’re not afraid to fight for their rights when pay discrepancy is on the table. Is your business on point?

Before you turn to those outside hires hankering for cross-workplace information, here’s why looking from within your company for potential candidates could be the best hires you ever make.

Elsbeth is the content and community manager at PI.

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