Welcome to the Small Business Rundown. Each day, we bring you stories that impact small business owners and their workforce.
Last week, The New York Times Magazine set out to investigate some of the issues that we explore here on a daily basis. “The Future of Work” edition tackles work-related topics big and small and is definitely worth a read. Enjoy.
Why we don’t talk about money at work — and why we should
For women and minorities in particular, pay transparency is an important part of promoting wage equality in the workplace. Despite the growing list of places that prohibit employers from asking for an employee’s salary history, many people are still squeamish when it comes to discussing who earns what — and why.
See: “To ask a coworker her salary — especially one who has worked at an institution for years — opens up deeper, unsettling questions. How valued are you in this community? Are you more valued than I am, or beyond what I perceive as your worth? Or have you undervalued yourself, been timid, clueless, exploited?”
The Number: 66%. In 2017, data collected by the Institute for Women’s Policy Research found that 66% of private-sector employees were either forbidden or highly discouraged from talking about their salary with colleagues.
The Quote: “I was taught you didn’t talk about money. It wasn’t polite. It was tacky.”
Generational consultants: do you need one?
Today, 5 distinct generations might be operating in the same workplace, giving rise to culture clashes and competition for the same positions. Navigating these differences is a key part of attracting and retaining talent, managing expectations, preventing burnout, promoting collaboration and maximizing productivity. Enter Generational Consultants — “expert” help to engage and attract millennials.
The Number: $2,500. David and Jonah Stillman, a father-son team, operate a consulting business focused on cross-generational communication and cooperation in the workplace. For a review of a website, they charge anywhere from $2,500 to $5,000.
The Quote: “Everybody ultimately wants to feel recognized as an individual in today’s society. And I think Gen Z is driving that.”
Managing the communal fridge in the workplace
Like a good relationship, respect and commitment are essential components to maintaining a non-toxic communal fridge in any workplace break room. The responsibility for cleaning the fridge should be equally shared by all who use it, and markers and post-it notes should be kept nearby to facilitate easy labeling of items. Pilfering may be inevitable — and even forgiven — just keep in mind that the milk you’re “borrowing” for your coffee might not be from a cow.
The Number: 63,000. When it comes to the breakroom fridge, workplace woes aboud. A reddit post documenting a woman’s relationship with the same tub of cottage cheese from her workplace fridge resulted in 63,000 comments by workers with similar experiences.
The Quote: “A shared work fridge should be cooperative, self-policed and worker-led, a kind of mini socialist state.”