I recently caught up with a good friend of mine over a few drinks and she was feeling unsure and had a few concerns about her current role.  For the purpose of this blog, her name will be Sally.  Sally started off by saying how much she loves her job, her team, her manager and the company she works for.  She continued by saying how her division is performing exceptionally well, in fact it ranked number one (two years consecutively) on a national basis for sales.  Her manager has recognised her skills and as a result Sally has taken on new challenges like opening new divisions, setting up procedures and running the interview process for new staff.   I was confused… this all sounded really positive to me.  So, I asked what were her concerns?  

Sally said that although she loves her job, she doesn’t enjoy the longer hours with no material increase in salary.  Her first thought was, do I need a new job to get a salary increase? Great question!  I am surprised at how common this thinking is amongst employees i.e. the only way to get a pay increase, is to move jobs and companies. This is not always the case.

I explained to her as I have done so for many candidates… nothing will change unless you talk about it.  I mentioned a few key steps to take and how to handle the situation appropriately.  Here are four suggestions:

  1. Do your research:

Research what the remuneration in your current role would be in the wider employment market. Conduct research on job seeker platforms and compile data relevant to you, your role and your industry.  You would be surprised at the results, it may be that you are getting paid well above industry standard.  This is a process that should be conducted by both employers and employees. Especially if you’re an employer it’s good to keep your finger on the pulse within a changing market and if you can’t increase employee salary perhaps there are other benefits?   http://www.ogroup.com.au/retain/

  • Build a business case:

A business is still a business at the end of the day and the bottom line needs to be considered.  Have a think about how you add value and also how your role has changed with increased responsibility and therefore value and how you are worth investing in! Compile the evidence and give a compelling case as to why.

  • Consider external factors:

Three main factors to keep in mind; How well is the company doing against its competitors? How well is the industry performing? And how in demand and hard (or easy) to find are your skills? Are you meeting/exceeding all you KPIs and how are you measuring it? http://my.employeelife.com

  • Have a conversation:

Have an open and honest discussion with your manager.  Tell them how much you love working with your current company and whatever you do, don’t give them an ultimatum – that doesn’t work!

Finally, to close the loop on Sally’s story… after a few weeks she called me up and we organised a catch up. It turns out she was freaking out over nothing!  They sat down and gave her the recognition, gave her more of a salary increase than expected and even spoke to her about further career succession for her. Safe to say, it was her shout for a celebratory prosecco 😉.

I’d love to know your thoughts on this. Have you ever experienced something similar in your role or workplace? How did you go about this? What was the outcome?

Jacqui Prendergast – Consultant

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