Over the years, many employees have expressed unhappiness when they receive an “average” pay increase.
My first question to them is, “Why should you receive a higher increase than the rest of the group?”
The answer? … “Because I have worked harder than anybody else”.
The dilemma here is this: just because an employee works harder, does not mean he/she creates better results. In fact, an employee who stays late often, plugs in more hours (but does not complete any more volume of work or add improvement to the business) might be actually more INEFFICIENT.
How does an employer look at compensation?
Good compensation packages have clear job descriptions for each position — specific expectations, measurable deliverables:
- What will be done,
- by When,
- by Whom, and
- How (i.e. collaboration with others, at specified quality/accuracy levels etc.)
A detailed description of end results, eg “the monthly operations report will be delivered to management by the 5th working day of the following month, complete with standard statistics and price/cost/volume/ product mix analysis” is better than “prepare monthly reports”.
Soft skills should also be measured where possible, eg “customer satisfaction survey will be presented quarterly, ranking the group’s service delivery (timely, accurate, complete, delivered in a friendly manner) using a 1-4 scale.”
Going above and beyond:
Yes, there are individuals that do deliver better than average results.
What does this look like in the workplace?
- design new reports with more meaningful information for customers
- develop new customers or areas of business beyond current job scope
- anticipate upcoming issues, develop procedures to mitigage risks
- take on significant increase in duties and responsibilities permanently
Climbing the career ladder means delivering more in terms of volume, quality or innovation in the business. These are the areas where a business can save money, make money and therefore afford to pay more in compensation.