Are you paid in compliments instead of raises?

by Evil HR Lady on April 20, 2012

Dear Evil HR Lady,

My reviews are glowing, my progress non-existent. I feel like I am getting paid in compliments and not in salary and/or title. I have been with this company for two years and have always gone above and beyond. I even faced an angry employee who had just been fired — sent in by the head of HR with little warning (I understand that she was scared) — and calmed him down. This is just one example.

My reward so far keeps getting pushed farther and farther into the future.

When it was made clear to me that my department had little growth, I applied for another position. The formal explanation for why I did not get it was that the position was reviewed and that a more junior person was needed. Except I saw the acceptance letter left out by the fax machine. This junior person is getting paid $7,000 more than me and has a much better title. And a career path.

I have asked for a salary review and only received verbal responses. Praise. Praise. Praise.

I would like to bring up the fax that I saw to HR. It was just left there. I am not sure that I can, or how. I am not in a position to be unemployed.

I do my work conscientiously and go above and beyond my call of duty. I continue to do all sorts of favors and tasks for HR and the department that did not hire me. I am loyal to my boss of two years and never speak ill of a person whom many people jeer at.

At this point I see little recourse other than to look for another job, but I feel sick at two years that I see as wasted. And if I were a bad employee, I would understand why. Is there anything that I can do that I have not thought of?

To read the answer click here: Are you paid in compliments instead of raises?

{ 2 comments… read them below or add one }

Eric Carlos April 23, 2012 at 6:44 am

It must suck to be caught in the situation that you are in, but I think you should be a little more aggresive. Ask for the new position or salary increment or tell them your thinking about walking. They might make a move in order to keep you employed if you are as good of an employee that you say you are. Good Luck

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Chelsea April 24, 2012 at 11:52 pm

This reader’s letter really struck a chord with me – I was in a similar situation about a year and a half ago. I was passed over for an internal move, even after recieving the highest review score in the department two years back to back (I was in HR and saw all co-workers reviews as part of my role – I wasn’t snooping!).

I was constantly frustrated as a promotion was always on the horizon, but never materialized. I was always given many compliments on my performance by internal partners and within my team. When asked why I was passed over for the promotion, the feedback that was given to me was that it was a tough choice but that there was a stronger external candidate.

I decided to start considering options externally. I interviewed with an organization I had always admired, and landed a position with a substantial (30%) salary increase. When resigning from my former employer, they immediately counter offered with more money and a higher title. I declined (respectfully) and explained that I had been asking for salary consideration for some time. They assured me it had been “in the plans” and I thanked them for the offer, but told them my decision was final.

With my new company, I was promoted within 8 months and earning another solid increase, plus a performance bonus at my first annual review, and am now up for another promotion (all within less than 18 months at my new company). I am MUCH happier in my new role and enjoy being part of a culture that truly rewards and values performance.

Suzanne was right on when she said sometimes you may need to move out to move up!!

Best of luck!

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