Reach - Resources & News for Evolving Organizations

Consultants to Organizations | September 2014


Did you have a chance to answer our questions on human resources challenges? If not, please click here to see our previous issue and to answer these critical questions regarding the state of human resources in your organization. This time we talk about what negotiating can mean for women in the workplace. Turns out there can be pitfalls for those who do negotiate as well as for those who don't. We also touch on social media in the workplace, clearly a trend that will only continue to grow, with implications for employees and employers alike. 

Women in Negotiations: You'll Never Know Until
You Ask, But How You
Ask is Very Important

It is fairly common knowledge that women are more hesitant to negotiate salary than men.  Recent trends have encouraged women to be more confident in negotiations, built on the knowledge that you won't know what you can get unless you ask. Many women in the workplace have been pleasantly surprised by the outcome of such discussions, either at the time of hire or after some time on the job. New research by Bowles, Bobcock and Lai1 has shown, however, that the reasons women may be more reluctant to negotiate have less to do with their own personal confidence or belief in the appropriateness of the request and more to do with the perceptions that can be created once the ask has been made. Researchers have found that the answers have more to do with the way women are treated when they negotiate than skills or confidence in negotiations. That is, it was found that there is a "social cost" of negotiating in that evaluators were less inclined to work with employees after negotiations. And, not surprisingly, the social cost of negotiating for pay was found to be higher for woman.


To read more about the costs and benefits of negotiating and how to create a 'relational account' to minimize the costs, click here.

Social Media in the Workplace


While social media and the associated technology that carry it continue to blur lines between work and personal lives, employers are faced with the growing challenge of creating guidelines, regulations and even policies to govern the use of social media in the workplace. While some workplace policies have garnered the attention of the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) as being too broad, we recommend having some common-sense guidelines in place to protect you and your employees. A few examples:

  • If employees are creating social media sites (for instance Facebook pages or Twitter feeds) for use in the workplace, these should be linked to an employer-provided email address, not the employee's personal email. Such accounts are common in organizations serving the public - K-12 school districts, public libraries and local governments.
  • Employees may choose to list their employer as their place of work in their personal social media presence (common on Facebook, LinkedIn, and other sites that ask for user profiles) but they should not purport to speak for or represent the employer with their views.
  • Common sense carries the day and should be included in communications and training regarding the professional and personal use of social media. Could this post humiliate or embarrass the employer or a co-worker? Does the post or comment violate a non-compete or other confidentiality agreement?

Social media is not going anywhere and will indeed only become a more ubiquitous way of working. Take care to make sure your employees are educated about its proper use.


We hope you enjoyed this addition of Reach. As always, please feel free to share your thoughts with us, as well as pass on this eNewsletter to anyone you think might benefit. 


To reaching success,

Paula M. Singer Lorraine Kituri






Paula M. Singer & Lorraine Kituri


The Singer Group, Inc.

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