Last year was a tough year for my boss so I stepped in to lead our team. We received an award for navigating through crisis and really were able to impact careers in a positive was from our work. My boss gave me a merit raise of 3% yesterday and was very excited to do so. I’m appreciative of the recognized effort however I still make on the lower end of industry standard. What would you recommend? This is my professional gap too - uncomfortable conversations.

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I personally think you should have a conversation. Bring in the compensation metrics for your local area as well as nationally as there are a ton of remote opportunities now. Be sure the market comps reflect companies of your size & if anything is industry specific it reflects that as well. Express your desire to remain with the company, value you believe you add to the company & team, & share the market comps for someone with your role and experience. After you’ve had this conversation & the company accepts/declines your proposed increase then you can make an informed decision on your next steps (leave or stay).

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I think it’s time to find another position. Whether within the company or a new one. Take your leadership experience and run with it. 3% is not enough. Companies keep lowballing faithful quality people and having that “I want/deserve more money” talk is uncomfortable. It doesn’t hurt to take time to research a company you really like and try to get in. Maybe do some interviews and hear offers. You have to tell yourself and actually believe that you deserve more.

likesmart

I have been stuck in this situation before. There really isn’t a whole lot you can do because they are working within a merit range, so agree - time to look elsewhere.

likeuplifting

Tell him that the amount is small (slightly above inflation) and you don’t feel it’s enough recognition for the tremendous amount of good work you did.

likehelpful

I don't disagree with the above statements, however, outside of what you feel was an inadequate raise given, are you happy? Do you enjoy your work and colleagues? These are intangibles that have more value than perhaps you realize, If you've never worked in a toxic work environment before. Given the pandemic, what is your company's policy on raises? Our companies blanket policy was to place a freeze on all raises so that they wouldn't have to lay off anyone during the pandemic. That said, I was able to get a raise approved for someone who worked for me who deserved one by building a business case for it. While it wasn't as high as I would have liked it to have been, Like your manager, I was happy to be able to give it due to the circumstances, and my employee was happy to get one while others didn't.

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So we hit record profits last year which was great. I love what I do and I love the people I work with. Sometimes it can be frustrating but what isn’t? Being paid more would be more ideal / would make what I do that much more worthwhile. I am thankful for what I got for sure but sometimes I wonder that since I have been there since I was an intern that they feel they can get away with small incremental increases. It is tough to gauge but I will see what is available to me outside of my org too.

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You still make the lower end. I’m sure you made that before COVID too. I understand that there are intangibles that factor into as well but from my experience no one is going to take action unless you speak up or start making moves.

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Well I don’t disagree you probably deserve more than that, I think people need to understand the other side. It was a tough year of Covid and organizations only have so much money to go around. Maybe she was excited to give you 3% because other people only got 1%? You should definitely not take it as a personal attack. 

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Wow, really great feedback, thank you everyone! My company was fortunate enough to thrive last year and make record profits so there is money to go around. I love what I do and the people I work with. My company has a great culture but compensation is where we get cheap. I have seen it happen before where people left or declined job offers because of this. Perhaps it might be my time to go which is sad. I’ve been with this company for 6 years, I started as an intern.

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What about looking for leadership positions within the company?

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Unfortunately within my HR capacity there are no opportunities to move up. We run relatively lean. I’m okay with no title change but would just like to be paid more.

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