Are You ‘Acting Your Wage’?

Are You ‘Acting Your Wage’?

caucasian-business-woman-working-in-office-and.jpgasian-business-man-working-in-office-and-bag-o.jpgWith the incredible demand for labor in the workplace today, many businesses find themselves short-staffed due to the rising cost of inflation, including fuel and raw materials supplies. Businesses today are being squeezed from all angles when it comes to maintaining profitability. Unfortunately, this has led to a tremendous amount of pressure on employees to over-perform in their roles or take on multiple roles that go beyond their initial hire.

While there are cases where an employee may not be "acting their wage," in many instances, in the world we live in today, almost all employees are being called to perform "above their wage." This can lead to burnout, resulting in decreased levels of performance, employee engagement, and the adoption of unhealthy coping mechanisms, which can be deleterious to the mental, emotional, and physical health of the employee.

I believe it's imperative for employers and employees to maintain open lines of communication regarding expectations and compensation for their tasks or job roles. If an employer requires an employee to fulfill more than one role, there should be an open dialogue, discussing both the pros and cons for the company AND the employee. Additionally, this open dialogue should address what increased compensation might look like for the employee, for taking on these new roles and responsibilities.

While the issue of employees not "acting within their wage" has been around for some time, I often see that it is more common today to see employees going above and beyond "acting their wage" without receiving appropriate pay or recognition. This contributes significantly to individuals feeling undervalued and deciding to leave the workplace. When this causes the employee to quit, both the employee and the employer lose out.

Shift Shock
In many ways, I believe that human resources departments and the competitive nature of today's economy contribute to what is commonly known as “shift shock.” I'm not suggesting that this is universally true, or the sole cause of “shift shock” but based on my experience with many individuals I work with as a counselor who struggle with job satisfaction, it seems that they often feel they were “overpromised and under-delivered” in terms of HR benefits, job descriptions, or overall job requirements from the initial application and interview to when they actually begin working in the field or at their desk.

In the fierce competition for qualified employees, HR and hiring managers may overstate the benefits or glamourize certain aspects of the job, or even downplay the more difficult aspects to attract potential hires. Unfortunately, newly hired employees may discover that the actual job responsibilities differ significantly from what was discussed during the hiring process. This discrepancy can leave employees feeling jaded, deceived, and as if their time has been wasted. It can also contribute to high levels of turnover for the employer.

I believe it is crucial for both potential employees and employers to engage in open, honest, and straightforward dialogues about their expectations regarding various aspects of the job, including performance, compensation, company culture, and work-life balance. This transparency can help build trust and foster a better understanding between both parties and drastically cut down on “shift shock.”


Article by Ryan Joseph Kopyar

IMG_5523.jpgcover with ryan.jpegProfessional Counselor Associate Ryan Joseph Kopyar, LMHCA, RCC, CPT & CSN is an acclaimed Emotional Intelligence and Mental Health Expert and International Key note Speaker. A transformational figure in the fields of psychology and personal development, Kopyar is also  author of   " Unlock The Power of Your Mind: Ho w to Change Your Life by Changing Your Thoughts" and " Big Boys Do Cry: A Man’s Guide to Navigating Emotions and Showing Up More Vulnerable in Relationships. " Other of his life-changing work includes his “Reconnect to Your Greatness” program, which teaches people how to remove the obstacles preventing them from realizing the happy and fulfilled life they want to live. Connect with Kopyar online at 

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