Who Thinks They are Underpaid as Tech Talent?

How can a global mobility manager handle pay dissatisfaction — especially if it’s coming from the company’s top tech talent?

If the said talent is not a job-hopper, insubordinate, or troublemaker, then their dissatisfaction is something that has to be listened to and addressed. Immediately. If the world is said to be run by money, then tech of the digital kind cannot be far behind. And given the recent innovations in cryptocurrency and fintech, it just might take over in a few years’ time. In short, global mobility managers and their fellow recruiters cannot afford to lose highly skilled tech talents who also happen to be diligent team players.

Replacing them will not only take time and no small amount of investment — the very act and process of finding a substitute can slow company operations which, in turn, can have a bearing on the organization’s business momentum.

At the same time, a significant increase in the tech talent’s pay just to hold them cannot be given immediately. Tech talents are among the highest paid in the country and the world.

According to US News, as of 2016, the average annual salary of a tech manager was $135,800. The entire range from lowest to highest, is at $82,360 to $208,000, or even higher.

The job dissatisfaction of their tech staff is a dilemma that even a formidable tech giant like Microsoft is wrestling with.

As reported by CNBC, Microsoft employees surprised management with their answers in one encompassing corporate survey: while they said that they were happy in their current work environment, they felt they were underpaid and not receiving salaries that are on par with industry standard.

No one could blame management at the surprise they felt, because the average Microsoft employee’s annual salary is regarded as among the most competitive in the industry. Its annual median salary stands at $144,000 as of 2017, making Microsoft the 19th highest-paying company in the United States. It is not far-off from its competitors based in Northern California.

If this kind of situation can hit Microsoft, it can happen in any company. More important, how should global mobility managers handle this once their tech assignees and other recruits start calling their attention to what they believe are “unfair” or inadequate pay rates?

First, deal with the situation directly, but better make sure the homework has been done, advises Chron. The global mobility manager must talk with their talent privately and show them good solid research that their pay is adequate to their tasks.

They would have to show industry rates, human resources budget, and performance evaluations. This discussion would also have to be documented to prevent disagreements, confusion, and lawsuits further down the road.

Second, do take feedback and let this meeting be a dialogue and not a monologue. Hear what the disgruntled assignee has to say — and even though agreement on the spot is not advisable, it would be more productive to tell them that management would look into the matter. This is also a time for the company to “look inward,” says

The Economic Times, and iron out issues that led to this dissatisfaction, especially potentially unequal pay.

Finally, Forbes wisely advises to increase the assignee’s level of satisfaction even if it is not practical at the moment to raise their salary. Employee engagement is always a matter of fulfillment with money only secondary.

A rewards program that recognize individual merit can boost assignee confidence. Complementing their skills with training can increase their market worth and likewise make them realize their value.

A more harmonious, collaborative work environment can nurture long-term loyalty and squash any resentment or other feelings that are prompting them to resign and move on.