Raise policies cause staff revolt

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in Your Office Coach

Question:  For the past two years, our CEO flatly stated that no one in the organization would receive a pay increase due to the economic situation in our business.  Although we were disappointed, we appreciated the fact that everyone was being treated equally.  Recently, however, the head of my division announced that all of our managers are being made vice-presidents.  Their jobs will remain exactly the same, but the title change qualifies them for a pay increase.

This is clearly a ploy to get around the companywide salary freeze. All of the employees were stunned by this announcement.  Not only have we been denied raises, but our workload has also increased due to unfilled vacancies.  Management is constantly telling us to “do more with less.” Although we are thankful that we still have jobs, we can’t help feeling disgruntled and mistreated.  I have toyed with the idea of sending the CEO a letter telling him about this deception.  What do you think?  Irate Employee

Answer: We’re all sick of greedy executives whose highest priority seems to be enriching themselves and their direct reports. If these promotions are a sham, your division head should be ashamed of himself.

Nevertheless, complaining to top management could be hazardous.  Despite his previous proclamation, the CEO may have actually approved these vice-presidential moves.  Unfortunately, executives’ words and actions don’t always match.

If your division head is indeed engaging in a rogue maneuver, ratting him out could result in retaliation.  So you should carefully weigh the risks and benefits before lodging a complaint.  Don’t let anger drive you to commit career suicide.

Since this decision has upset many people, a group protest might already be underway somewhere in your division.  If so, adding your voice to theirs would be a much safer alternative.  

As the economy continues to improve and more jobs become available, these avaricious managers may find themselves with a well-deserved turnover problem.

Tempted to lodge a complaint about management?  If so, read these suggestions first: Should You Complain about Your Boss?

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