If you are looking to claim your worth in the next performance review cycle, here are some ways in which you could soften the blow, while holding your own.
In almost every first session that I have conducted as a leadership and performance coach, one of the key points of unhappiness that executives have with their current job role is in the realm of money. Feeling undervalued on account of being paid below par seems to be a common angst across organizations irrespective of the industry segment they represent.
The dissatisfaction on account of money, in my experience, is usually driven by factors such as social perceptions, recruiters trying to lure prospects, family expectations, office gossip and an assumption of what salary scales are in the market. While most people believe that money is the key motivator when it comes to professional choices, research indicates that only 12% of people leave on account of money. A startling 79% leave on account of lack of appreciation.
While men tend to be more aggressive when asking for their due and women more reticent about claiming their worth, managers across the board seem to equally dread upcoming appraisal cycles. The challenge for them lies in balancing organizational objectives, finite budget allocations and individual expectations.
Recent surveys such as the Aon report on salary increments in India indicate that the average salary hike received in 2019 is estimated to amount to 9.7% versus 9.5% received last year. These salary increases, according to the report, are significantly lower than the average increment received in 2011, owing to the economic performance and the overall impact of demonetization on the market. Reduced hiring in key sectors, as well as lower attrition numbers have also resulted in the slight increase in average salaries. The survey that released earlier in the year saw consumer internet, professional services and the automotive sector as the Top 3 sectors projected to offer increments. However, with the NBFC crisis, the decline in automotive sales, as well as the challenges faced by professional services firms, there could be a shift in these numbers looking at the current market.
Experts believe that waiting for the appraisal to claim your worth is a step too late. Appraisal decisions are usually made before the appraisal process even begins. In fact, highlighting your value to the organization should be an ongoing process. Building a relationship with the appraiser helps provide more confidence as they can see your contribution and effort throughout the year. Gradually hinting at your expectations over a period of time helps in giving the appraiser an indication of your thought process. However, the timing of this needs to be really on point for it to be received in the intended spirit.
If you are an individual looking to claim your worth in the next performance review cycle, here are some ways in which you could soften the blow, while holding your own:
1. Be Prepared
It is absolutely essential that you do a thorough job of listing all of your key contributions over the last financial year. Make special note of areas where you have exceeded expectations, gone beyond the brief or received praise from bosses/clients/the team. Also highlight what you intend to do in the coming year. Don’t wing the performance review meeting and go in with all your notes and printouts!
2. Do Your Own Math
Evaluate your contribution to the organization to understand your true worth. Be honest with yourself about what it is that you bring to the table, your productivity over the last year, and assess the opportunity cost of replacing you. Affix a value to any savings that you may have brought the organization or revenue contributions that you may have made. Put yourself in the appraiser’s shoes to arrive at a workable number
3. Pitch You
Remember, each appraiser/department is constrained by a finite increment number. Your challenge is ensuring you get your fair share of that!
4. Handle Objections Carefully
Put yourself in the appraiser’s shoes to identify possible pushbacks or areas of negative feedback. Gracefully accept the appraiser’s point of view, don’t take things personally and handle the situation productively. Keep any defensiveness at the door and reign in on any aggressive behaviour!
5. Think of the Organization
Understand the financial performance of the organization and the industry/market that you operate in. Avoid self-centered behaviour and showcase yourself as someone aligned to the organization’s growth and profitability
6. Cut the Drama
Focus on having a productive and value oriented conversation, rather than an emotional one. Remember to display positivity and enthusiasm throughout the appraisal conversation
7. Know Your Facts
Arm yourself with data and information relating to your performance, the company, the market and the common trends when it comes to your own Company’s HR practices.
8. Be Realistic
Understand the deal breakers and constraints of the company that you work for before you make any demands. Be realistic when it comes to quoting an increment number and don’t cloud your own judgment by unrealistic expectations set by social and familial pressures. Please avoid making threats during the performance review!
9. Speak Up
If you feel consistently underappreciated in the performance review process, don’t hesitate to have an honest conversation with your appraiser. There is a fine line between genuinely asking for an explanation and being aggressive- don’t cross it!
10. Manage Yourself
Know that there are multiple factors that contribute to the salary or increment you receive that may or may not have anything to do with your performance. Think about your own drivers and motivators, appreciate areas that you need to develop and outline your deal breakers. Remember, maintaining and building key workplace relationships is far greater than an immediate performance review. Nurture those carefully!
(By Shubika Bilkha, Entrepreneur, Advisor, Author, Leadership Coach & Partner, EdpowerU)