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Best way to approach pay rise / promotion during Covid...

Good morning everyone,

Hope everyone is safe and well! Looking for a bit of advice please;

Back in January I passed my 3 month probation with my current employer and asked for a meeting with my manager at the time. I presented a business case for a salary increase and requested some KPIs for the coming year.

I had delivered as far possible what was within my control the 3 “low hanging fruits” that they wanted from me (employee files and HR document system, handbook and training matrix) and I also completed my CIPD level 5 which was self-funded by the end of my probation hence asking for a pay rise. The job is actually more than what was advertised – essentially creating a HR department from scratch but it was advertise as more of an admin role with support form Norway but it became apparent quite quickly that wasn’t quite how it would go. Having said that, I am driven and ambitious and pushed to take on a lot more so have made the role bigger my doing gap analysis and seeing what else was needed in the Company from a HR perspective.

The January meeting went fine, I was advised that it's not an "if" but a “when" and that there was a management business review in February and my request would be discussed then. 

That time came and went then Covid hit. I was thanked for my work during a period of redundancy and restructuring in May and again told that my request from January was still a "when" not an "if" and it would be discussed at the end of summer once the management team in Norway were back (they take almost all of July off). 

We are now almost at the end of August and I haven’t heard anything further. I want to raise this again but I am also aware of the current situation in the world, obviously! And we are in the Oil and Gas supply chain so things aren't great and we are saving costs where we can BUT we are lucky that we have work on just now and are doing well in the grand scheme.

Looking for some suggestions on how I can raise this again (pay rise) but in a sensitive to the situation manner please.

Many thanks in advance!

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  • My opinion, and others may very well disagree with me, is that I wouldn't have asked for a pay rise after only 3 months in a role, and I wouldn't be pushing for it now when my company has made redundancies and "things aren't so great and we're saving money". You need to demonstrate awareness of the wider business picture... I would focus for now on showing what great value you're adding and look for signs the business is recovering before raising this again.
  • In reply to Annabel:

    I tend to agree - Management in UK are well aware and the positive messages around not if but when are great. For now I would carry on developing the function and making myself even more invaluable.

    If you are going to raise it I would do so ever so lightly and use some of the language around understanding business is tough but just keeping it on managers radar

    Is anyone else getting rises at the moment?
  • In reply to Annabel:

    Hi Lorraine

    I'd not at all disagree with Annabel on this and would suggest you bide your time until general salary reviews come round, or if not that, your regular appraisal. In the present climate, would tend to be counting my blessings in that I still had a job and keeping head down hopefully until better times return
  • In reply to Annabel:

    Thank you Annabel.
  • In reply to Keith:

    Thanks Keith, no other raises at the moment. Annual reviews are something I am implementing for December time as at the moment there are no reviews carried out.
  • In reply to David:

    Thanks David. I should have stated this in my earlier post but I am acutely aware of what a fortunate position I am in at such a hideous time.
  • In reply to Lorraine:

    Lorraine said:
    no other raises at the moment. Annual reviews are something I am implementing for December time as at the moment there are no reviews carried out.

    Personally I would wait till then and if nothing materialises then consider my next move. its only 3 months or so

  • In reply to Keith:

    Very true Keith, thanks. I think I just needed some outside perspective on this. I'm certainly counting my blessings to still be in a job at the moment.
    Madness that December is so close! This year doesn't feel like it's really ever started.
  • Just for another perspective, I was asked to take on an additional role at the beginning of this crisis, and my boss raised the issue of pay with me, saying that he was aware that it needed to be reviewed. I said then that I didn't think it was appropriate for me to get a rise in a situation when everyone else's pay was being frozen, and that it would be good to review at a future point when there was much more clarity about the financial impact on the organisation.

    I don't know whether a similar approach would work for you - if you proactively said to them that you know they are still considering your pay review, but that you don't think now is the time for this to be reviewed? You might suggest to them that it should be delayed until December and considered in light of everything else going on in the company and the world. That approach could help to keep your review on their radar, while showing that you are very much aware of the reality of things - and that while your pay is important (of course it is, it is for everyone) you are also really committed to the organisation as a whole.
  • In reply to Lorraine:

    Hi Lorraine, I think there are going to be a lot of people in this position. I definitely have colleagues that are deserving of a payrise and will be first in line as soon as there is any money to do it, but with the economic picture as it is, it seems unlikely to be soon. As others have said, I wouldn't press it, and just bring up at an appropriate point (review meeting etc).

    Not sure what the general policy is at your company, but I wouldn't consider giving someone a pay rise for passing probation and completing their performance objectives - that's just expected! We don't tend to give pay rises until someone has been in post for a year, unless they have done something exceptional or had to step up to fill another vacancy.
  • In reply to Nina Waters:

    Very helpful suggestion Nina, thanks.
  • In reply to Polly:

    Thanks Polly.
    There isn't a policy as such because before I started with the company, no one had even had a discussion about passing their probation or letter confirming passing their probation and no objectives set. The joys of a SME :-)
    I wouldn't normally have asked, it's not in my nature, but in this situation I felt it appropriate to.
  • Hi Annabel,

    I agree with Nina and the others above. We've had a few people ask for a pay increase despite the current pandemic and us doing weekly updates keeping people informed about our financial position (not great). It feels really quite frustrating that they haven't seen the bigger picture and one manager particularly has been very unsympathetic.

    We have someone who really does deserve a pay increase and she's working her socks off. She raised her situation with me but said very clearly that she didn't expect an increase in the current climate but would like it to be looked at when things were a bit better. I really appreciated her being so pragmatic because we very much want to reward her commitment and hard work.

    If you can bide your time until December, then I'm sure your request will go down much better. It really isn't that much longer. Their response will tell you whether it's a longer term 'no' and then you can have a rethink on your position.
  • I have too been in a similar situation. I started 11 months ago as a maternity cover , offered a perm role 5 months in. My HR Manager was made redundant end July after been on GL for 7 weeks, so i have ran the dept and will continue being on my own until November when said lady returns of Maternity leave. We have had salary reductions and still 30% off workforce on Furlough within the business but I have decided to wait until we are back to some sort of normality before I approach any extra pay rewards.
  • Thank you to everyone for your feedback. I am going to hold off until the new year. Hopefully we will be in a better place with Covid and have some idea of how Brexit will impact us all.