Re: Problems with hiring, equity

Subject: Re: Problems with hiring, equity
From: Daren Deadmond <DDeadmond -at- NOVELL -dot- COM>
Date: Wed, 4 Feb 1998 11:41:48 -0700

>>> "Page, Kathryn" <KPage -at- GFBANK -dot- COM> 03-Feb-98 2:55:02 PM >>>
First, I find it extremely disturbing that so many of our peers advise
against inquiry that might lead to unhappiness. Hardly any of the great
writers and thinkers through history have recommended this practice
suggesting, instead, that life is best faced with a bit more courage.

Second, surely it must have occurred to someone that "management"
insists that salaries not be discussed for a reason -- to hide these
kinds of differences. Can you imagine how difficult it would be if
managers actually had to publicly justify salaries?

I've worked in a human resources department (previous employer) where every salary in the company was at my fingertips, including the salaries of my co-workers. We knew when anyone in our work group got an increase, what the new-hire made, etc. With every salary increase came gossip and backbiting: "I've worked harder than that lout. Who'd he kiss up to to get it?" Stuff like that...

The manager, knowing we all knew each other's salaries, used this as a tool (weapon?) to increase productivity. When I first interviewed there, the manager said "I'm bringing you in above "Joe", who's been here six years but seems unmotivated. He'll see your salary within a few days after you start, and it'll result in one of two things: he'll either work harder or he'll quit and go somewhere else. Either way, the department wins. But beware that he'll probably hate your guts."

"Joe" stayed, and although he didn't hate my guts, it took a long time to win him over. I resented being placed in a adversarial position on day one with someone I had to work closely with. As it turns out, he was aware of our manager's ploy, and cut his productivity to match what he was being paid. So much for increased productivity. This is an extreme example of all the little games people play when salaries are available to all one's co-workers, I guess.

Daren Deadmond
ddeadmond -at- novell -dot- com
darend -at- aros -dot- net
"I do not speak for Novell and they do not speak for me."

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