I have been working for digital marketing startup for the past three years and have risen through the ranks from junior executive to Director of Marketing Operations over that short period. I love the brand, enjoy the work, and feel that there is opportunity to grow as the company is rapidly expanding internationally.
Whilst I was thrilled to be offered this latest promotion, the corresponding pay rise that I was promised has yet to materialise. My boss (whom I get on well with), has continually fobbed me off by pointing to the change in title that I have been given and the supposed merits that being Director level can bring.
I have taken on all the additional responsibility of the role, and my workload has massively increased as we have not yet backfilled my previous role (although the job spec has been issued). The company has just received a multi-million dollar venture capital investment and there is a real buzz in the office on the back of that, as the leadership team talk up the growth and expansion that will come with the investment.
It completely irks me that I have to listen to how great this capital injection is and yet I am not being paid adequately for my contribution! How can I get this resolved without threatening to leave the company or damaging my relationship with my boss?
Firstly, congrats on your promotion! I hear your frustration. What’s missing here is direct communication and a solid agreement.
Great leaders know what it takes to hold onto talent, they will communicate clearly whilst providing accurate timelines and updates. They will also be clear about what is required on your part to get there, offering plenty of feedback along the way. As this is lacking in your case, it’s no surprise that you are disappointed but good to see that you are taking responsibility for resolving the issue (lingering in frustration and disappointment is not a good strategy in any environment).
What comes to mind here is – expectations vs. agreements. We have two choices in our work relations, we can either have “expectations” or we can create “agreements”.
The most effective agreements are co-created and not coercive
In this particular case, you have an expectation of your boss, an expectation that he will deliver on your pay rise based on your promotion. Yet, it seems your boss has a different expectation – that you should be happy with the change in title that you have been given and the supposed merits that being Director level can bring,
What’s needed here is a solid agreement.
This begins with open communication, sitting down with your boss, calling out the white elephant in the room and creating an agreement around when and how you will receive your pay-rise. Enter into this conversation with an open-mind, move away from expectations as a way of communicating and work towards a solid agreement that works for you and your boss.
It’s important that the agreement works for both of you i.e. be clear on your needs but also hear from your boss in terms of his/her capacity to deliver on the pay rise. The most effective agreements are co-created and not coercive. Establish what is desired and when it will be delivered.
One more watch-out – before entering into this conversation with your boss you need to decide how much of a deal-breaker your current salary is to you. Are you willing to walk away over it? It is important to know how strongly you feel about this and what you’re willing to do if you don’t get a resolution you’re happy with.
Best of luck!
About Sinead Millard
Coaching ambitious people to live more fulfilled and successful lives. I help clients take control and reach the next level of success.
Phone: +353 (0)87 710 1437