Maintaining Social Equity at Work

It's important to ask for what you want and be clear and concise about it; give the person you're asking some alternatives from which to choose. Employees dissatisfied with their pay should consider how their salaries compare to others, and what parts of their benefits package they wouldn't get elsewhere. If nothing can be done about pay, what other currencies can your organization offer in terms of other things it can do for you? For a scientist, it might be attendance at a particular conferenc

Beverly Kaye
May 9, 2004

It's important to ask for what you want and be clear and concise about it; give the person you're asking some alternatives from which to choose. Employees dissatisfied with their pay should consider how their salaries compare to others, and what parts of their benefits package they wouldn't get elsewhere. If nothing can be done about pay, what other currencies can your organization offer in terms of other things it can do for you? For a scientist, it might be attendance at a particular conference, or having access to certain resources in the lab.

I'm not sure employees think about the equity they already have in their current jobs: social equity, that is, who you know to turn to, to get something done; and skill equity, which allows you to use your skills in your present job in a way that might not fit as cleanly in another milieu.

The grass is not necessarily greener in another lab. If you make a checklist, the pluses might far outweigh the minuses. And you may decide that starting all over again and letting go of that equity would be a big mistake because there are other kinds of problems in the next job you move to.

- Beverly Kaye, author of Love It, Don't Leave It: 26 Ways to Get What You Want at Work