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Making A Case For Pay For Performance

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in Your Office Coach

Question: “My job offers many learning experiences and a wide variety of interesting projects.  However, my pay does not reflect many of the tasks I have taken on. After my manager said she couldn’t give me a raise, I decided to approach her boss. I gave him a list of all my duties and explained why the additional work should justify more pay. He said that no one else has received extra compensation for these responsibilities and that more pay was not an option. I replied that no one else does as much work as I do.  However, that seemed to be the end of the conversation. Can you suggest other ways to ask for higher pay?  My job is great, but I feel that I deserve more.” — Underpaid

Marie's Answer: Compensation is a complex subject, but here are a few fundamental facts:

•    Every product has a price, and every job has a value. That value is established by comparing similar positions both outside and inside the company. Your pay range indicates the minimum and maximum value for your job.

•    As long as your responsibilities fall within the expected duties for your position, management will probably feel that your job is “priced” appropriately. This appears to be your manager's view.

•    However, if you perform many tasks that are typically completed by higher-level employees, you might qualify for reclassification to a higher pay grade. This would be determined by your HR department.

•     If reclassification seems unlikely, consider asking for a one-time bonus. Because bonuses don’t increase base pay, managers often will give them more willingly.

To better understand your company’s pay practices, have a talk with your HR manager.  If you’re still dissatisfied, your enhanced skills may qualify you for a higher-paying job elsewhere.

{ 1 comment… read it below or add one }

Paula October 1, 2008 at 3:18 pm

Your market value is what the market will pay you. And there’s only one way to find that out. But if you do get a better offer, be sure to weigh all of the intangibles of the job you love before jumping into the unknown.


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