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Dear Wendy

Unmotivated at work

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  • #1110129 Reply
    Emily R
    Guest

    I was recently asked to become a lead of a group in my department at work. I accepted the position under the assumption that I would be getting a raise during my mid-year review as compensation for the added responsibility, workload, and stress that comes with being a lead. This was not the case. I recently found out that I Will not be getting a review or pay raise this time around. Is it wrong of me to step down as lead? What’s the best way to tell my supervisors I’m unhappy and unmotivated?

    #1110133 Reply
    Kate
    Keymaster

    Ugh. Had you discussed expectations for comp at the time you were offered this role, and did they set expectations that there would be a pay raise? If so and they’re going back on that now, that’s concerning, and you should talk to your boss about the disconnect and try to understand what happened. Was it something to do with the company’s performance? Were there expectations for the role which you haven’t met?

    I think at this point you should ask when you can be reviewed for a salary increase. Do you believe you are being paid fairly based on the market for this type of role? Is there an argument you could make that the market value is higher than what you’re being paid? Can you point to all the specific ways you’ve added value in this role? Those are the points you’re going to need to pull together to make a case (maybe at year end) for a pay increase.

    Of course if you hate the job and it’s making you sick, start looking at other open roles within the company, or outside the company. But if you’re generally okay with the work and just want more comp, there’s a systematic way to do that.

    #1110134 Reply
    Kate
    Keymaster

    But I don’t think you should say oh, if there’s not going to be a pay raise then I don’t want this role anymore. 1) your title and responsibilities DO improve your market value, making it possible for you to go somewhere else and get paid more. 2) your old job may not even be open anymore. 3) You’re going to look like a pain in the ass and someone who’s not a team player unless you really know how to finesse it, so you’d have to proceed with extreme caution. 4) you may be passed over for future promotions.

    #1110136 Reply
    ron
    Guest

    Don’t say anything. Look for a new job. Your employer is taking advantage of you.

    #1110138 Reply
    CanadaGoose
    Guest

    I agree with Kate. Also, I think if you ask to step down as leader now, for any reason, they’ll let you go as soon as they can. With the job market the way it is, it may take them a long time before they can do that though.

    I would schedule a meeting (don’t just appear, slate the meeting so your boss can’t claim he’s busy) to talk about this role. You don’t need to say it’s about compensation if you think your boss will duck you, just “could I schedule a 1/2 hr meeting with you to clarify a few things about my new role please?” By then, ensure you have done some research into the market value of the new role at similar sized companies.

    Advise your boss that you really like the company and are excited about the new role (even if you are not) and that you’d like to confirm a timeline for when your compensation package will evolve to reflect the value of your new position. I would mention what you have learned the market value of your role is, that you are now required to work longer hours, and of course like everyone else you are impacted by rising living costs. When you are told that they can’t afford to pay more, likely due to some COVID impact or whatever, I would say something like “I understand these things can be tricky, which is why I wanted to discuss a plan that works for everyone. I’m sure you can appreciate that as much as I love it here and appreciate your faith in me, it’s not equitable for me to be required to work longer hours, with greater responsibility, for what amounts to a salary decrease when we consider inflation.”

    I suggest you come armed with a salary request, with a timeline when it would take effect, along with possibly some benefit increases. Depending on your company, that could be stock, stock options or increased vacation time. When the boss says “we can’t give you 4 weeks’ paid vacation when everyone else gets 2”, I would respond with something like, “well actually, when you consider the extra hours required of me, cumulatively, I would be working as many hours as I was before this new role (if true). This is a way to compensate you without actually costing the company more.

    Get everything you agree to in writing. If you quit, companies have to pay out unused vacation in most places.

    It’s an employee-friendly job market. Your boss knows this. I think you can get wiggle room here.

    #1110140 Reply
    ktfran
    Participant

    This, from @kate: “Ugh. Had you discussed expectations for comp at the time you were offered this role, and did they set expectations that there would be a pay raise? If so and they’re going back on that now, that’s concerning, and you should talk to your boss about the disconnect and try to understand what happened. Was it something to do with the company’s performance? Were there expectations for the role which you haven’t met??

    You said you accepted the new role under the ASSUMPTION you’d get an increase.

    I think to better advise you with language you can use to ask for an increase, it would be good to know if an increased was discussed when negotiating your new role or if you truly just assumed you’d get an increase.

    In my experience, companies rarely dole out increases unless asked to, even if it’s for a new position.

    #1110143 Reply
    Kate
    Keymaster

    I’m in a similar situation right now… My team went from 3 people to ~15 people in 2 years, and it’s gotten painfully apparent that not everyone can report to my boss. It’s a bad onboarding experience, and she doesn’t have the time for everyone. So they’re adding layers, and this is happening on some adjacent teams as well. Some people are “getting layered,” where they’ll now have a new person between them and my boss. A few others will continue to report to her though not have direct reports. And 4 of us (me, my friend, and 2 new people who are starting soon) will now have direct reports. I, too, assumed there would be a pay increase. I have not accepted the role yet, but learned they’re not planning to increase the pay. Which is wild to me. They are saying that in the year-end review that will be addressed.

    I told my boss I’m super excited blah blah, but I am troubled that there’s no pay increase for these new roles. She had HER boss reach out to me for a convo and I reiterated everything and asked if there is anything that can be done right now. She said it doesn’t sit right with her either, and she believes that other people in the company in my salary band may already be managing people for the same salary as mine. But she has no idea what I make… so it’s like, has HR looked into this and can attest that it’s true that I’m being paid fairly? There is still room in my salary band to do an increase, I’m not at the very top of it. My boss’s boss promised to push more on comp with Sr Magmt and make sure HR does a review of salary comparisons. The other thing my boss actually brought up was that one of the people I’ll be managing has my current title and was hired prior to this re-org. She needs to make sure HE isn’t making more than me for some reason.

    Anyway, I’m still hoping they come through with something, but I’ll accept the role because it’s an increase in title and responsibility, and improves my market value. It gives me exposure to different parts of the organization that are more prestigious. Is people management my dream? No, but this is the way to move up and eventually make more money.

    #1110144 Reply
    ktfran
    Participant

    My company does something similar with staff, kate. They don’t want TOO many people reporting to one person so they build in a middle reporting layer. Increases don’t usually happen w/ that either at our company.

    #1110145 Reply
    Kate
    Keymaster

    Well, good to know it’s not unheard of!

    #1110149 Reply
    ktfran
    Participant

    Totally crappy way to do business, but not unheard of either. Our company has a big problem w/ increasing people’s pay. Like, new grads will come in and make more than someone who has worked here for a few years because of the market. You have to fight like hell to get any kind of raise once you’re hired.

    I received a good mid-year increase last year. My manager’s manager had to fight hard for it. It went all the way up to our CEO. I work for a 55,000 person, Fortune 500. It’s insane that the CEO had to approve a 10% bump for a mid-level manager in marketing.

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