Question of the Month: An employee finds out that he is earning 5% less than his peers, and assumes that the organisation and the management are unfair. This demotivates him and he considers finding another job. What should be done?
Answer: This question arose in a recent Legitimate Leadership webinar – see our report on this below. Before, this employee was a net contributor – in other words, he was not withholding. Then he withdrew his willingness due to a sense of grievance and grudge.
The problem is that he is falling into a victim’s state of mind.
His manager should challenge him not to have a victim mindset and to focus on what he can control. Strong people focus on what they can control, not on what the world does to them. In other words, the manager here can help the employee to restore his sense of accountability.
The manager should enable the person to see what is happening to him in the situation. the question is how he is going to respond to the fact that life is sometimes unfair. The manager should challenge him to promote growth, rather than encourage him to rail against the system.
The employee/manager may also simultaneously try to solve the unfairness issue – but it should not be the primary focus.
But wait … what if the unfairness is more than just a small salary differential? What if it is a matter, for instance, of ingrained gender/race bias? See our webinar report below for comment on this.