Abolish Your Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell Pay Policy

You thought “Don’t ask. Don’t tell” was a compromise invented over gays in the (US) military. You are wrong. It was the long standing way of managing compensation.

We learned not to talk about our pay from our parents and grandparents, asserts Georgia Curtis. “The reality is, we’re all talking about it. It’s online. It’s everywhere,” she says, making the case for employers to be proactive in providing transparency into compensation practices.

Speaking to a DisruptHR audience in Kitchener, Ontario last spring, Curtis argued that “Who gets paid what and why and open conversations about that are a huge differentiator as an employer. And it’s really an opportunity to stand out and secure great talent.” It also works to level the field on gender pay differences.

Even though there are any number of websites where a person can check their salary, employers have yet “to figure out the structures that allow us to be clear about that.”

That should be a goal — talk to employees, communicate how the compensation system works. And if it doesn’t work, she says, fix it.

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