The Sports Salary

  • Steve Jones - SSC Editor

    SSC Guru

    Points: 720983

    Comments posted to this topic are about the item The Sports Salary

  • peter-757102

    SSCertifiable

    Points: 6877

    There always is some sort of taboo on this subject as it shows a lot of our inner workings we do not necessarily like to make so visible to others. This makes it a very private matter for most people I encountered in my career.

    Personally I feel mad if I find out that someone earns significant more as I do while in day to day work I need to hold their hands to make things go right. It is an imbalance that signifies injustice to me and coming from my employer in the same way people get mad about bankers getting big bonuses for doing so great wasting taxpayers’ money and being irresponsible. I simply would not feel being taken serious and feel taken advantage of instead and quit my job over night, which is yet another reason the subject is taboo for many.

    Now am I only in it for the money? Clearly not, as otherwise I would not take it as personal at all and just focus on negotiating better and earning more instead of doing my work as best I can. Performing better often doesn’t lead to better income for you, while the reverse is often true under many circumstances. In fact I value free time to do what I want to, more as just making as much money as possible.

    Let the postings begin 😉

  • Ben Moorhouse

    SSCrazy

    Points: 2385

    I'd love to see this happen!

    BUT, for it to be worth anything, you'd need quite a bit of information about what each person actually does for their money. I can't imagine many businesses being too pleased about you making public, some/most of the things which you do as part of your job. :-\

  • Jessica_ST

    SSC Eights!

    Points: 882

    As a BI developer with a handful of DBA responsibilities too and having been paid well under the market rate for the last 4 years I would love this! Though I know several people, particularly in my last organisation who would be less comfortable.

    The largest problem is probably scalability. My wife works for the ambulance service, and here in the UK they have a similar pay banding system where you move up through a band and the band is based on your skills and responsibilities, but there are problems with ranking dissimilar roles, eg HR and Paramedics (for those that are interested HR fairs much better then paramedics).

    I'm not sure if there is an ideal solution to this problem, but openness must be better than keeping everything secret. After all, MPs over here are finding out what a pitchfork looks like from the sharp end after a lot of financial secrecy!!

    Assumption is the mother of all F***ups

  • Noel McKinney

    Hall of Fame

    Points: 3385

    To me, salary is not everything in our line of work, so making that piece of information public would not provide much benefit. I value what I get to work on, how I get treated, the hours I work, etc. more than salary. Comparing my salary to that of someone in another department within my company, or to someone who does a job similar to mine at another company, would reveal almost nothing. Looking at salary alone would lead to confusion, and the intangibles are almost impossible to quantify.

  • Stephanie J Brown

    Hall of Fame

    Points: 3866

    It sounds to me like the Fog Creek system has been working well for years, and I wish all companies had such a system in place. I well remember working on the payroll system for a prior employer and discovering that I was making significantly less than a junior employee who was always looking for help (still learning how to do the job). They had less experience, same level of education, and an attitude of doing "just enough".

    Oh, did I mention I'm female, and they were a male? Keeping salaries "hidden" allows all kinds of discrimination to go on. And if you find out about it and challenge it, you can (and will) be fired for bringing it up to anyone - including HR - because you aren't supposed to know another person's salary, and if you do you must have gotten it by nefarious means and be a very baaaaad person.

    In my state, you can be fired "without cause" at any time, and your employer does not have to provide any information to anyone as to why you were fired. So regardless of whether contract language about not disclosing salary is legal or not, you'll still be looking for work.

    I believe open and honest really is better than black-boxing this sort of information. Most people would understand and appreciate a system that allows equal pay for equal work, especially when the criteria are posted for everyone to see. And salary is not MY only consideration when job-hunting, or even job-staying. Environment matters; how you're treated, the attitude of your co-workers, whether you have access to hardware and software adequate to do you job, and whether your employer values you enough to invest in occasional training. I agree with Joel's statement that if I work for a miserable boss, I'll want more compensation. And there are some behaviors that aren't worth putting up with for ANY amount of money. IMHO


    Here there be dragons...,

    Steph Brown

  • GSquared

    SSC Guru

    Points: 260824

    I like open and with published, pre-set standards for how to get a raise and all that. Takes the uncertainty out of it.

    - Gus "GSquared", RSVP, OODA, MAP, NMVP, FAQ, SAT, SQL, DNA, RNA, UOI, IOU, AM, PM, AD, BC, BCE, USA, UN, CF, ROFL, LOL, ETC
    Property of The Thread

    "Nobody knows the age of the human race, but everyone agrees it's old enough to know better." - Anon

  • Timothy-313907

    Ten Centuries

    Points: 1226

    I've recently gained first-hand experience of this as I just found out a co-worker, who does the same work I do, is getting paid 30% more than me. Salary information is public here when it's above a certain level, and imagine my surprise when I had to look higher and higher up the pay scale to find my co-worker. They're getting paid more than managers and they don't manage anybody! It really sucks too because I voluntarily share information I come across, techniques I use, and I'm just helping them look better in my boss' eyes while it slows me down from getting my work done.

    I've thought about asking for equivalent pay but small comments from my boss make me think it's probably best to move on. I'm not really in the job for money but I just think it's way unfair what I'm getting paid now. I can imagine the people who advocate keeping salary information private are the ones who benefit the most from the secrecy, and vice versa the ones who feel slighted want it public the most.

  • michael.wiles

    SSC Veteran

    Points: 292

    I think that the whole reason that there is such tabboo in discussing salaries is to keep pay rates different between employees. I believe that it is more of a benefit to employers to not have employee's salaries be made public than it is to employees. I have heard stories (not in IT) where someone worked for a company for several years and was one of their best employees only to find out later that new hires were being hired on at a higher pay grade then what she was receiving. She quit almost immediately after she found that out. It seems the point is to get each worker at the lowest cost and keep them happy about it and productive by saying it is against policy to discuss salaries.

    Also, by making this information publicly available, it allows you to know which firms do not pay as much for the same positions and allow you to focus on interviews that have a higher potential rate of return. After all, why hold salary information to be the last thing discussed? If the salary isn't right, let me know up front ahead of time and we can both save ourselves a bunch of time. In fact, I won't even waste their time even applying and avoid wasting good ink on a resume.

  • jgonzalez-1035751

    Grasshopper

    Points: 18

    One of the traps we fall into is when developers compare themselves and their technical value to the company. In most cases, this is the true driver of value. However, those that pays the bills, aren't so much in a position to evaluate technical value. They are there to determine business value. So, when a developer sees that he is hand-holding another developer who gets paid more, they might have to ask themselves if they are bringing business value to the table. Maybe the other individual does a stellar job in other not so technical aspects. Business value has to take into consideration other valuable skillsets such as interpersonal communications, submitting oral or written presentations, etc. I've seen may developers simply code from the design instead of speaking up when they see an obvious design flaw. Those that speak up gets management's attention and will perceive that individual as truly caring about the project. Now, we've all seen instances where that individual might be punished for speaking out, but that is usually because of the way the developer delivered the message. "Bring solutions not problems", is the manager's mantra.

    I believe comparing developers to athletes is an interesting exercise. But, I would be curious to see how developers would compete in an open system. I know that if we had such a system in our company, that developers would spend more time focusing on what makes a particular manager happy. That might not be the best focus on the project.

  • Chris Harshman

    SSC-Forever

    Points: 42157

    I think there are two main aspects of this. First of all, it would be nice to see people who do work harder or provide more value to their company get paid better than people who slack off or do the minimum of what's expected of their position. However, value in this line of work and the expectations are somewhat subjective and vary from company to company. It's not like an athelete who has precisely measured stats that can be compared easily. It's not like a quarterback which has pretty much the same expectations with any team. While some may value the ability to scramble out of the pocket more, or some may value great arm strength more, they all are expected to have leadership, command of the huddle, read defenses, make adjustments, and get the ball to the other playmakers on the team. I haven't yet seen 2 companies have the same definition of what a DBA is, or a database developer, and what their roles are in the organization.

    The second aspect of this is that there are some parts of my job as a database developer or a DBA that some of my managers over the years freely admit they don't understand. That makes it more difficult to measure how well I'm actually performing. You know what a shortstop in baseball does, you can see them chase down ground balls and make tremendous throws. It also doesn't hurt if they're fun to watch like Omar Vizquel was for so many years. I don't know if there's ever been a DBA that's fun to watch do his job, let alone have a manager that understands what they do if they themselves haven't been a DBA before.

  • Question Guy

    SSCommitted

    Points: 1934

    One thing great about IT is, if you are good, you can always quit. (Unless you're already overpaid.)

  • Steve Jones - SSC Editor

    SSC Guru

    Points: 720983

    Interesting. I thought most people would be against it.

    For professional atheletes, it's a dog eat dog world, and they often go down as well as up. It just isn't reported as often because those aren't the "interesting people". There all sorts of imbalances there as well. People that negotiate well, or are in demand for some reason might get paid more, with less skill, than others.

    The Fog Creek system is interesting, and I'd like to see it implemented at more companies. There's still subjectivity there, and the reason I think it works well is because

    a) they're small, one or two people are doing the ranking

    b) they're benevolent. Joel's a good guy, I've met him, and I'd work for him.

    In larger companies you still would have the issues of people unfairly evaluating others, but it would be public. So perhaps there would be more accountability, and maybe even appeals as to why you were not rated the same as someone else.

  • Carolyn Richardson

    SSCrazy Eights

    Points: 8353

    Several times in my career I have been able to prove my cost benefit to an employer either by cost savings or increased sales both times I was inadequately rewarded, both times I moved on. Both times the move involved an increase in salary. Inequality and unfairness often happens either live with it or walk away.

    What annoys me more now as a contactor is not the pay I receive by the commission that is taken by the agent on my pay for the little amount of work that they actually do.

    Facts are stubborn things, but statistics are more pliable - Mark Twain
    Carolyn
    SQLServerSpecialists[/url]

  • crookj

    SSChampion

    Points: 14045

    I also have mixed feelings on this one. While pay for performance does have its advantages, it also has many drawbacks. As stated above - Bosses attitudes and personalities will have a great impact. Back stabbing by coworkers seeking to draw your responsibilities and reward will also increase. One mistake made can erase a years of excellent hard work.

    The current system, while not really fair has been tested for years so abuses of the system have mostly all already been discovered and tried. It is a pretty stable method.

    Another note - Steve mention about knowing what other employees earn. If you are responsible for the financial databases, all that information is at your fingertips. The worst thing you can to as an employee is to match other's salaries with their work level. This is only the work load that you observe - there may be tons of other projects or missions that they excel at underneath your radar screen. This will result in frustration, anger, and a decrease in your motivation and work output. You can always change employers if it gets to you but - the circle will start again. Learn to live with the issues and spend less time focusing on others and more on yourself. We all know life is not fair but we can learn to ignore these issues.

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