What are some unspoken rules about money

Salary taboo topic: You don't talk about money - or do you?

Most employees do not know what their female colleagues earn because the salary is still a taboo subject. You can read here when it is worth breaking the taboo.

Salary as a taboo subject - why it is problematic

In Germany, people don't talk about salary - that seems to be an unspoken rule. This brings with it some problems: unequal pay for men and women as well as different pay in the same job with the same job profile. In addition, unclear salary structures induce employees to speculate about the salaries of their colleagues. In the worst case, this stirs up envy and causes a crack in the collegial relationship. This lack of transparency also means that employees do not dare to go into salary negotiations or to deny them with completely wrong ideas.

On the other hand, talking to colleagues about salary can trigger negative emotions. Either it turns out that you earn too much yourself or too little. And that's both uncomfortable. Such salary discussions create hierarchical gaps that are often fraught with negative emotions.

When is it worth breaking the taboo?

You may have already guessed it: The reasons why you should break the taboo arise from the above problem. Talking more about salary in your company will help reduce gender discrimination by salary. It can also help you with a salary negotiation if you know how the salaries are in your area.

If you notice that colleagues speculate about your salary, you can also stand by your salary here - this helps to dispel any misconceptions or at least brings clarity and puts an end to wild speculations by colleagues.

Note: If the disclosure of your salary is a trade secret, then of course you have to remain silent.

How you address the taboo subject of salary

Bringing up the topic of salary is difficult due to the negative emotions that are often associated with it. That's why you should pay attention to your choice of words and under no circumstances address the topic in an email, but personally.

Clumsy questions like “How much do you actually earn?” Are counterproductive because they can be interpreted as envy or resentment. Better is z. E.g. such a statement: “At the moment I am not entirely satisfied with my salary situation. Subjectively, I have the feeling that my work is worth more. However, I find it difficult to judge what a fair payment is. How do you rate that? Do you have some information about it for me? I can also tell you first what I am currently earning. "

With a little skill and empathy, you can investigate the question of salary and use the information for yourself.

Would you like more tips?

Taboos and unwritten rules of the game lurk in every company. The book Tabu helps you to look through them and to deal with them appropriately!