Friday, July 07, 2006

The Raise That Was Lowered

What would you do if this happened to you: you have an annual performance review. It's all pretty positive and at the end you are told you are getting a very large raise in proportion to your salary, say from $25,000 to $30,000. Then about a week later, you are told that the raise amount was actually an error by the HR department. Your real raise is still a very good raise, but less than what you were originally told you'd get, so your new salary is only $28,500. But at the same time as he tells you about the error, your boss gives you a promotion. (This doesn't change the fact that your new salary is only $28,500, not $30,000.)
Doesn't that kind of suck?
Thankfully, this did NOT happen to me! (In fact, the reverse once happened to me-- I was hired for a job where I was first told the title would be "manager," but then downgraded to "assistant manager," so they increased my salary $1,000 just so I wouldn't start off at the company feeling negative about things.)
Anyway, that seems like the kind of HR mistake that a company might just want to ignore, if you ask me. Why piss the person off and embarrass everyone concerned over $1,500?


Rob said...

It's not just $1500. It is $1500 that will be compounded every year, because raises and bonuses and such are often expressed as a percentage of the employee's base salary.

The Travelin' Man said...

Actually, a similar thing did happen to me. When I was hired, I was told that the time frame for a promotion was about 18 months. I waited patiently as that time came and went. I finally asked after my 2 yr anniversary. I told my boss how important this was to me - the title moreso than the money, because if I planned to go anywhere else, I would need to have had the title.

My boss told me that the budget was brutal, and she would have a hard time getting my title changed because it came with a 15% salary adjustment. She asked if the title was so important that I would forego some of the money. I respectfully told her that I wouldn't - and my thinking was that had she approached me and told me that budget issues were precluding my promotion, I might have offered to take less money, but since I had to stick my butt on the line to ask, well, then I felt like I deserved (and earned it).

Five months (and a lot of dangled carrots) later, I received my promotion -- and a raise of about 9%. I know that my boss worked hard to make this happen, but I really felt like she should have told me that the money wouldn't be there. The delay was caused by my boss' boss, who absolutely hated me. She is gone now. :-)

It's a good thing that I love my job, or I would have been out of there in a heartbeat.

Anonymous said...

You should have had everything in writing!

dakboy said...

In Q3 2003, my employer announced that we were being bought out by another, larger company. The deal was to close by the end of Q2 2004. Our 2003 annual reviews were to happen at the beginning of Q2 2004 (by the normal schedule), and annual reviews always come with annual "merit increases."

Spring 2004 came. The merger was rolling forward, and our (old) management came out ans aid "we won't be doing reviews & merit increases until after the merger, because we expect that the new management will want to have input." We really wanted our expected annual increases, as many people depend upon them and goods & services weren't getting cheaper.

The merger completed more or less on time. About a month later, the next communication came out. No annual review for 2003 performance. No merit increases because we can't have those without annual reviews.

Scott said...

This can happen anywhere. It happened to me with a federal government job. I got a promotion, but the paperwork got "lost" by HR. So for a month I was promoted (it said so on my pay stubs), but I was getting paid at my "unpromoted" rate. They insisted they couldn't fix it, and oh, by the way, every time I am up for a promotion or in-grade increase (from that point on as long as I stayed with the job), the pay raise will have to be delayed a month, since each increase can only happen one year after the previous one.

I quickly found out the only way to get paid what you're worth is to switch jobs periodically. You gotta lookout for yourself, cause no one else is going to.

Chrees said...

Something a little different: I had worked for a company for about 8 months. A large part of my job was to do some work for a 'sister' company. The sister company has a job opening, I apply and I get the job. With it comes about a 25% increase in pay because it is about 2 pay grades higher than my original job. The president of the (large) company intervenes and says that is too much of a raise--I can have the job but at a lower rate. Fortunately my soon-to-be boss and HR intervened and told the president what an ass he was. So I got the full jump in salary.