NEW YORK (MainStreet) — In the world of office etiquette, few things are more taboo than asking coworkers about their salaries, but that doesn’t mean we don’t want to know. Now one new site has come up with a clever way to appease this urge tastefully.
SalaryShare.me lets users invite as many people as they please into small groups, or “salary pools,” where everyone enters their own salary, but does so anonymously to get around the thorny issue of being embarrassed about how much he or she makes.
Each group requires at least four individuals to participate before the salary results are displayed for all the group’s members to see. While the number seems arbitrary, it’s presumably to protect that anonymity. Needless to say, if the salaries were displayed with just two people in the group, each would know what the other makes.
All users have to do is make a name for their group and enter in their own salary, then SalaryShare will create a unique Web address for others to offer their salary information to the group and to check out the salaries of everyone else who has joined.The makers of the site note that they were inspired by a discussion in an online forum that addressed the downside of the salary taboo, which goes well beyond the pain of not knowing. If one doesn’t have some sense of what those around them make, it’s all that much harder to gauge whether one is getting paid fairly.
While SalaryShare could just end up being a tool for friends to share salaries with one another, there is the potential for it to be something more. If the majority of workers in a particular company agree to anonymously post their salary, it could provide a more accurate sense of what the salary range is, giving workers an extra bargaining chip when negotiating a raise. At the moment, the best we have are sites like PayScale that estimate salaries by career, but of course, those estimates may vary significantly from company to company.