Are You Underpaid? The Answer Might Surprise You!

Have you ever felt as if you are underpaid? You know you work hard, you know you give your all to your employer, yet you still feel your pay is less than adequate. In this situation, employees can begin to feel frustrated and demotivated. Perhaps the problem isn’t that the employer doesn’t value the work that you do. Perhaps, it is simply that the position you hold is only worth the amount you are being paid.

Position Value

There is value in the contributions of each individual in an organization.  These contributions are in fact critical to running a business. But even when a person is doing their job in an above average manner, there are times when the pay for the position can’t equal the value of the person. If you find yourself frustrated with your current pay rate, consider the following:

  1. A position has value. There is a ceiling to that value. For example, if you are front desk coordinator your position may be worth $15.00 per hour. Even if you are the best front desk coordinator in the world, your employer may only be able to exceed that $15.00 per hour rate by a margin. Beyond that it is no longer profitable for the employer.
  2. If you are working at peak levels in your current position and you are successfully reaching your goals, able to mentor others, demonstrate an exceptional work ethic and still feel you are under paid, you could be ready to move to a higher position in your organization.
  3. Most likely, you are not undervalued by your employer. If you are in fact worth more than you are being paid, your employer already knows it but may be tied to paying you based on the value of the position.
  4. Your employer may not come to you and offer you a promotion. You may have to go to your employer and ask. The reason isn’t that they don’t recognize your value, but that they do. If you truly are an excellent employee, you are filling a need and you are filling it exceptionally. Why would they want to change that if you appear satisfied?

You should also recognize that, although unfortunate, it is common in business to inadvertently punish our best workers while rewarding our slackers. It isn’t something we consciously do as managers, but if we have an employee who always goes the extra mile and we have an extremely difficult project we automatically hand it to the person who goes the extra mile. The slacker is left with minimal projects and continues to do less work which in a sense is his reward for slacking.

This is not good management, but it is certainly common management. If you are the superstar employee, it is important that you recognize this trend and instead of becoming frustrated by it, use it to your advantage. Let your employer know that you are happy to do the extra project; you are thrilled to always go the extra mile. Then remind them that you are a highly motivated employee who feels prepared to move to the next level. The employer will get the hint, and if you truly are a superstar, before you know it you will be in a position that deserves your talent and will be rewarded accordingly.

 

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