HP Advanced Solutions VP of Human Resources, Greg Conner was featured again in the Globe and Mail’s NINE TO FIVE Column.  Being a human resources executive responsible for over 400 employees means that Greg has dealt with a plethora of complaints and issues.  The NINE TOO FIVE Column features questions, concerns and issues raised by anonymous workers ranging from “How do I make my cubicle neighbour be quiet?” to “How do I deal with a boozy boss?” In this edition Greg responds to “My co-worker dates the boss and gets paid more than me”.

Excerpted to the Globe and Mail, June 11, 2012.

The Question:

I currently work in a team where my manager is in a relationship with one of his subordinates, who is also on my team. They did come as a package deal and my boss, who is above my manager, told us to keep it quiet. But with our company, I wouldn’t put it past human resources knowing, too, and turning a blind eye. I really like working with both of them and they are good people who don’t act particularly like a couple, but the conflict of interest is a big deal. One point of contention is that my salary is way below the person who is dating the manager (I found out accidentally) even though I have more education, just as much experience and am just as good – if not better – in our same roles. I find this really unjust. I’ve gone to my manager’s boss to ask for a raise to no avail. I feel like my only option is to leave the company, even though I love the people I work with and I am comfortable here. What do you think?

The Answer:

Greg Conner

HR vice-president at HP Advanced Solutions

Yikes! You are certainly caught in a sensitive situation.

I encourage you to escalate the matter, as no one in your shoes would be happy with the status quo as you describe it. First, take your concerns to your human resources department and ask for their advice and assistance. HR has a professional responsibility to ensure employees are treated fairly. I would suggest you remain dispassionate and avoid any reference to the relationship in question, rather focus on factual information such as your work performance, education, experience and salary. Request that you receive more equitable compensation, similar to the other person performing the same role. If HR turns a blind eye, as you suggest they may, then shame on them. You then must take it to the next level of management and include copies to your manager’s boss and HR. Companies that recognize the value in individual performance (those that are interested in surviving) will maintain equitable practices as a means of retaining talented, productive employees. If after taking these steps nothing changes, ask yourself: “Does this company and its leaders reflect my beliefs? Is this a company I’m proud to represent?” If the answers are no, update your résumé (it is always easier to find work when you are working), and start seeking a career with a more progressive company that does put its employees first.

Read the full article here.

 So what do you think? Do you agree with Greg’s response?