I started my job a year and a half ago when there were four of us in the department. Three of us were Account Managers and the other person in our department, Sheila, was the Scheduler and Expediter. Our division was sold in May and the new parent company made a lot of changes.
Two of my co-workers got laid off. Now I am the only Account Manager and I handle all of our accounts. Sheila is still here doing scheduling and expediting and she helps me with some account issues, but I still have three times the number of accounts to manage than I had before.
I got a $3,400 raise at my last review, right after my two former co-workers were let go, but I would have gotten a raise anyway because it was my annual review.
I got nothing extra for taking on the work of two other people. Shouldn’t I get paid more for doing the work of three employees, and in light of the fact that the company is saving two full-time salaries plus benefits?
Thanks Liz –
It is not easy to pick up the work of co-workers whose jobs were eliminated. I give you credit for stepping into the breach. However, it’s not necessarily the case that you are entitled to a salary increase because there used to be three Account Managers in your department and now there is only one.
Things change all the time in almost every company and institution. Job duties are switched around and apart from the duties themselves, roles and their priorities also shift. Organizations change strategies.
I’m assuming that although you were undoubtedly busy managing your accounts before your co-workers left, you are not working 24 hours a day now to handle the extra accounts you picked up. We all bob and weave as our job responsibilities change.
I’m sure you are doing a great job managing your large number of accounts, but you not doing the exact same things for your customers that three people used to do collectively. In other words, you are not literally doing the exact same things every day that you, Annabel and Charlie (I made up names for your former colleagues) used to do.
Your company has evidently decided that your accounts don’t need all the hands-on support they used to need. I don’t know whether that’s a good decision or not, but it is certainly their decision to make.
If you are working crazy hours because of your enlarged account load, then your next step is to leave work at a reasonable hour and let your boss know that your workload is becoming unmanageable.
We all have to set boundaries at work, even when it is uncomfortable to do so — we would never have a personal life otherwise!
If you tell your boss that you can’t handle the workload on your own, your boss might tell you to back off on your service levels or the frequency of your interactions with some accounts. Or, your manager might get you some help in the form of a part-time assistant or some other solution. A pay raise would not give you more hours in the day.
The bottom line is that if the job still works for you, that’s outstanding. If it doesn’t work for you anymore, then it’s time for you to look for a new job. You can certainly ask your manager for a pay raise, but I would advise you to think carefully about your sales pitch before you approach your boss.
On the imaginary strength-of-argument scale where 1 is the weakest imaginable argument and ten is the strongest imaginable argument, the pitch “I need a pay raise because I do Charlie and Anabel’s work now as well as my own, and the company is saving two salaries” comes in at about level 2.4.
It’s not a compelling argument. Your boss may give you a raise or they may tell you that money has very little to do with your situation. If you can handle the accounts, then it’s not clear why your manager should pay you more than you got paid to handle a smaller number of accounts before the layoffs. If you can’t handle your accounts, then the department needs more help, and a pay raise for you won’t accomplish that goal.
If you can see the question “Don’t I deserve a raise?” from your boss’s point of view it will help you hone your pitch to make it stronger.
Good luck to you, Morgan!
Liz Ryan is CEO/founder of Human Workplace and author of Reinvention Roadmap. Follow her on Twitter and read Forbes columns.