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Stephen Crowe

Managing Director

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salary

“I want to discuss my salary package”

“Can I have a raise?”

These two phrases can cause a lot of frustration and uncertainty in the workplace if not handled sensitively.

 

 

First of all, it isn’t easy to ask your boss for a pay rise.  A lot of anguish, thought and hopefully research has probably occurred before the employee has come to you.  So, if you know an employee is due for a pay review take the initiative and raise the discussion before they feel they must.  But if they beat you to it, give each request a lot of respect.  Listen to the case presented and take time to consider.  This will usually mean not giving an immediate answer so agree on a time and date to meet to discuss your decision.

From an employee’s perspective getting a pay rise is pretty simple, have I performed well enough in my job to deserve it?  From the employer’s side things appear bit more complex.  Apart from performance, employers need to consider how the salary compares to the market generally, how the salary compares to others in the team, whether the company is in a position to give a pay rise and does the requested pay rise fit within the companies’ policies?

If you’ve decided not to give an employee a salary increase how you communicate it is pretty important.  Of course, every scenario will be different but usually the outcome you are looking for is similar; although you are not going to reward the employee with more money you want them to stay focused on their job and maintain or improve their performance.

This isn’t a comfortable situation for the employer or the employee.  The answer though is to be tactful and honest.  If the employee’s performance wasn’t where you wanted it to be, carefully explain where they were below expectations and, if possible, use data to illustrate.  Then try and plan a clear performance path to the point where you would be able to give a pay rise. This should be as transparent as possible so the employee can easily understand if they are on track or not.  If the employee’s performance has been adequate but the businesses situation does not allow you to give a pay rise or the employee is already well paid in market terms again, be open about why you can’t pass on a pay rise at the moment, but also look for alternatives that will be seen as a reward.  These alternatives may include training, flexible working arrangements and additional holiday days.

Salary negotiations are sometimes tough to handle, but it is pivotal that employers plan for this process, as it is inevitable. The more proactive you are now, the less reactive you will need to be later.

 

salary

Our Guest Blogger this week is Challenge Consulting’s Organisational Psychologist Narelle Hess

Challenge Consulting recently facilitated a discussion forum to explore the purpose, value, and practice of performance reviews with a group of Division Managers, Human Resources Managers, Executive Managers, and Business Owners. Our participants began with a view of performance reviews that was decidedly beige, consistent with our recent poll result (68% of respondents rated their performance appraisal as a waste of time), and Samuel Cuthbert’s famous slamming of the performance appraisal.

So why are organisations implementing performance reviews? Our participants described many strategic aims of their annual process, including:

• motivating employees and to help them grow professionally

• developing individual goals to support organisational strategy

• creating an organisational culture of high performance

• helping employees understand their role

• calculating bonuses

• developing training and development plans

• informing succession planning, and

• predicting salary growth. 

With such strategic aims of performance reviews, why are they still seen as a waste of time? Or as Fetzer (2008) put it so nicely – “a review is looked upon as onerous and bureaucratic procedure that wastes time because little, if any, productiveness is achieved during one. It is performed solely as a requirement of the organisation to have a box checked as ‘completed’ and then forgotten for another year.” *

Can the performance review be resurrected to produce the strategic organisational aims it aspires to OR will it remain to be seen as a bureaucratic procedure that wastes time and causes demotivation and low productivity? The consensus across our group was that there was a place for a performance review, but it had to have a clear, measurable purpose, part of a larger performance management process (and not just a once a year check box), and add value at all levels. (Challenge Consulting can help with the implementation of strategic performance review process through our in-house professional development Performance Management Workshops.)

But what about you? As you are about to enter performance review season and sit down with your manager – how can you ensure this process is not a waste of your time? Tiffany Whitby, Challenge Consulting Consultant, recently attended a seminar with Lois Frankel (author of “Nice Girls Don’t Get the Corner Office” and associated publications) – where she recommended 6 weeks before your performance review to write a summary of your key achievements since your last review and email your manager saying something along the lines of “I know how busy you are and, since I have a performance review coming up, I have put together a list of my achievements since our last review”. (Tiffany will be sharing more of her insights from this seminar in next week’s blog post …)

Last year, I had the opportunity to present at the “Reinvent Your Career Expo” on how to use your performance review to help your career. The performance review can be used as an opportunity to help you manage your career, when you actively participate in the performance review process:

• there is higher consistency between your manager’s and your appraisal of your performance.**

• you are more likely to feel like you have had an active voice and more satisfied with the outcome of your performance appraisal.***

To be an active participant in the appraisal process, prepare for your meeting by considering:

• your key achievements (i.e. feedback you received, KPIs you achieved, new processes that you developed / implemented, or awards you received etc.)

• aspects of your role that you have performed best (i.e. tasks people always ask you for help with, tasks you finish fastest, or that you do without thinking about) – what projects would you like to be involved in the next period of time?

• aspects of your role that you would like to do better (i.e. tasks you need help completing or tasks you tend to put off) – what could help you perform these aspects of your task better – tools / training / change in role?

• What feedback do you want to give your manager to help you to be able to better perform your role?

• Be involved in the goal setting / developmental plan process – what skills do you want to develop in your career?

• Between reviews, bring out your record of your review to review your success towards the plan you made for yourself.

_____________________ 

* Fetzer, J. (2008). Building a professional career: Improving the performance review. Biological and Environmental Reference Materials (BERM 11).

** Williams, J. R. & Johnson, M. A. (2000), Self-Supervisor Agreement: The Influence of Feedback Seeking on the Relationship Between Self and Supervisor Ratings of Performance. Journal of Applied Social Psychology, 30: 275–292. 

*** Cawley, B.D., Keeping, L. M. & Levy, P. E. (1998). Participation in the performance appraisal process and employee reactions: A meta-analytic review of field investigations. Journal of Applied Psychology, Vol 83(4), Aug 1998, 615-633.

salary

We’d all like more money. Some of us may even deserve it. 67% of respondents to last week’s online poll said they would like to ask for a payrise.

But how do you go about it with any chance of success?

The most obvious tip for the right way to ask for a payrise is to be able to justify why you deserve one. You have to prove your worth. It is unrealistic to think that a raise is warranted just by you doing the job – that is, after all, what the current pay level covers. And length of time at a company does not automatically entitle you to bid for extra money. You therefore need to give before you get, exceed goals and expectations, and build a reputation of success. 

– Can you clearly articulate what you do, what you have learned, what value you add, where you go above and beyond the bounds of your job description?

– Is the timing good, say, after a positive performance review, or when you have been allocated new duties and responsibilities that perhaps warrant a pay rise?

– Is the company in good financial shape?

– Have you been in your job for more than five minutes?

The following is a list of Do’s and Don’ts from someone in an excellent position to give advice in this area – our Managing Director, Elizabeth Varley:

Do’s

1. Prepare your case: get facts, figures and evidence as to why you deserve an increase and what you will bring to the role in the future.

2. Compare your current salary: research the employment market using similar roles in similar companies as your benchmark.

3. Put yourself in your boss’s position: how would this pay rise affect the salary parity of your co-workers?

4. Be open minded to other solutions and benefit options: these can include flexible work hours, study assistance, career advancement opportunities, further investment in your professional development, etc.

5. Give your boss advance notice: make sure that your boss has the time and is forewarned as to the nature of your discussion.

Don’ts

1. Don’t get emotional: keep the discussion on a business level.

2. Don’t threaten or use arm-twisting tactics: this will only create the wrong impression and result in negativity and resistance.

3. Don’t ambush your boss: make sure that your boss can give you the time and is in the right frame of mind for this discussion.

4. Don’t expect too much: you might deserve a pay rise but your boss’s hands may be tied as to what they can give you.

5. Don’t gossip: this is a private matter between you and your boss. Office gossip will only lead to negative outcomes and you could “shoot yourself in the foot” by blabbing to your colleagues about your intention and the content of your discussions. 

If there is a no or an unsatisfactory outcome …

What should people do if they are only given part of the raise being requested?

– Politely ask whether the situation will be reviewed within the next 3-6 months.

– Ask what responsibilities or professional development you could do to improve your chances for next time.

– Re-emphasise to your manager how much you are enjoying working for your firm, and indicate what you plan to do to demonstrate your eagerness for personal growth.

Also understand your organisation’s constraints; you may think you deserve it, but your company may not currently be in the position to offer you a raise or promotion. Are there any non-monetary benefits the company could offer? If not, and you feel you are consistently working beyond expectations without any prospects of reward in the next 6-9 months, it may be time to consider your options external to the organisation …

[With thanks, as always, to the Challenge Consulting Team for their expert comments and suggestions!]