Equal Pay Day falls on April 14, 2015, this year and there is no better way to celebrate than to start asking for what you want in the workplace. That includes expressing your opinion regarding pay and other important issues.
According to the U.S. Department of Labor, women working full time only make about 78 percent of what their male counterparts earn. In fact, on average, women only make 78 cents to a man’s dollar.
If you’re not sure where to start when it comes to voicing your opinion at work, especially regarding any pay gap issues, there are a few tips to keep in mind:
1) Exercise caution when expression your opinion, but don’t make the mistake of keeping silent. According to The Nest, a digital magazine, if you always withhold your opinion at work, there is not enough information available for your boss and co-workers to completely understand the work situation for all workers.
For example, if a supervisor makes a decision regarding work hours, and several employees are displeased but don’t speak up, the supervisor has no way of knowing that changes need to be made.
2) Provide constructive feedback in private to reduce resistance to your ideas. Feedback is necessary in order to improve the process at work, but it’s better to share this alternative opinion in private in order to avoid any defensive reactions, according to The Houston Chronicle.
3) Speaking up at work can move your career forward. In fact, you may be able to advance more quickly in your profession if you vocalize your opinions in the correct way, Forbes said.
This includes challenging current conditions, encouraging new ideas, and inspiring others to speak up. You may also earn the trust and respect of others through a balanced viewpoint.
4) Make sure that when you do speak up at work, your opinion is focused on the most important of topic. Talk about whether a new process is effective, rather than giving a negative opinion on something that really doesn’t matter, like the food served at the company picnic, according to The Nest.
Noteworthy opinions may earn more credibility in the workplace.
5) Find out the preferred method of submitting ideas to upper management. Some companies may have surveys or suggestion boxes, according to The Houston Chronicle. Other companies may have more of an open-door policy that allows employees greater freedom to share their ideas and opinions.
6) If you’re looking to get the pay that you think you deserve, one way of voicing your opinion of your worth is through negotiations. In fact, according to a Forbes article, one strategy for negotiating higher pay is to be “relentlessly pleasant,” as well as nice but insistent.
7) You can also voice your opinion of your worth to the company by talking to your boss and providing examples of areas that you’ve successfully taken on extra responsibilities. Touch on any rewards or recognition you’ve received as well, Forbes said.
8) Know when to stay silent. According to The Houston Chronicle, it’s not wise to give a less popular opinion in large meetings or conferences — it can actually lead to negative reactions, especially from higher-ups who may become defensive.
If you do need to share an unpopular opinion, make sure it is unique and not repetitive, and consider sharing it in a more private, less confrontational setting.
United States Department of Labor. Equal Pay Day 2015. Web. April 14, 2015.
Wile, Elise. The Nest. Voicing Your Opinion in the Workplace. Web. April 14, 2015.
Lava, Shari. The Houston Chronicle. Voicing your Opinion in the Workplace. Web. April 14, 2015.
Llopis, Glenn. Forbes. 6 Reasons Employees Must Speak up to Thrive at Work. Web. April 14, 2015.
Hannon, Kerry. Forbes. 3 Ways Women Can Get Paid More At Work. Web. April 14, 2015.
Edited by Jody Smith