Salary Envy is a Real Concern


Most of the time, our employers tell us both implicitly and explicitly not to ask around about our colleagues’ salaries and that others are paid differently because of a myriad of reasons. But most employees ask anyway; that’s the reality. And it matters not that others have more experience, more certificates, or better training; the only thing that matters is that person and you are doing practically the same job, and you are getting paid less.

This is when the fourth of the seven deadly sins creep in– envy. Salary envy is the feeling of dissatisfaction or resentment that can occur when an employee becomes aware of the salaries of their colleagues and feels that they are being paid less than they believe they are worth. This emotion can eat at you and make you disengaged from work. It’s a sure road to quiet quitting, then career cushioning, leading to resentment and resignation. Here are some ways you can fight this:

1️⃣ Communicate openly about compensation. Gone are the days when you could force your employees not to compare salaries. Companies should have an open and transparent policy about compensation, which clearly communicates the criteria used for determining pay and how employees can advance their careers and increase their pay. This will help to reduce speculation and rumors about pay and provide employees with a clearer understanding of how they can progress within the organization.

2️⃣ Provide opportunities for career development. Companies can help employees focus on their long-term goals by providing opportunities for career development and growth rather than just salary increases. This helps shift the emphasis from comparing salaries to focusing on personal and professional growth.

3️⃣ Address compensation concerns. Employees experiencing salary envy should address their concerns directly with their manager or HR representative. They should be prepared to present facts and data to support their case and ask for constructive feedback.

4️⃣ Focus on your own progress and growth. By setting personal and professional goals, tracking their progress, and making an effort to acquire new skills, they can take charge of their own career development and increase their earning potential.

5️⃣ Practice gratitude and perspective. Take the time to reflect on what you have and the positive aspects of your job; it can help to put the situation in perspective and shift your focus away from what you don’t have.


A feeling of envy is normal; it makes every employee human. Allowing it to fester and take root is not. Salary envy is a situation that needs to be addressed, and management should not take it lying down; they need to be on the offensive on this. These and a lot more can be solved by our Talent Development programs. We ensure to unroot negative emotions such as salary envy by showing you how to truly communicate with your team. Our tools are truly experiential and innovative. Let me show you how we do it. Please email us at