7 smart ways to manage your salary expectations in the coming review cycle

December 24, 2019 11:36 AM

While most people believe that money forms the main motivator when it comes to making professional choices, research indicates that only 12% of people leave because of money.

salary, salary expectation, How to manage salary expectations, how to negotiate salary, pay hike, salary raise, performance appraisalThe Aon salary report on increments in India indicates that the average salary hike received in 2019 was lower to the tune of 9.5% versus 9.7% last year.

As the year 2019 draws to a close, executives across the board are in reflection mode assessing their performance and anticipating their increments in the coming review cycle. In almost every session I conduct as a leadership and performance coach, the question of salary increment expectations and a feeling of being undervalued on account of being paid below par, seems to be a consistent angst across organizations.

This dissatisfaction on account of feeling underpaid, in my opinion, is commonly driven by factors such as mismatched expectations, social perceptions, family pressure, recruiters chatter and making assumptions of what salary scales are in the market. The metaphor that I like to use in these instances is that you only know the real value of a house when you are in dire need of selling it. Until then it’s merely assumed.

The Aon salary report on increments in India indicates that the average salary hike received in 2019 was lower to the tune of 9.5% versus 9.7% last year. Salary increases, according to the report, were significantly lower compared to 2011 owing to economic and business factors. In this challenging economic environment driven by uncertainty, tight cashflows, liquidity crisis at financial institutions, poor sectoral and economic performance, disruptions and layoffs, it is particularly relevant for executives to stay focused on what matters most.

While most people believe that money forms the main motivator when it comes to making professional choices, research indicates that only 12% of people leave because of money. A whopping 79% leave on account of appreciation. When evaluating your worth in this economic climate, it is equally relevant to think about the intangible value your job role provides, the culture and work environment, and the equity you build in the organization where you work. Those components are after all, not transferable.

If you are an individual trying to assess your annual performance while being cognizant of the business climate in the coming year, here are some ways in which you can manage your expectations in the coming review cycle:

1. Analyse Your Worth

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, as well as the true value (tangible and intangible) that this role gives 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.

2. Keep the Organization in Mind

Understand the financial performance of the organization and the industry/market that you operate in. Keep the economic climate in mind and do an honest evaluation of the impact that it will have on the indusry/business that you operate in. Think of all that the organization has done for you and contributed to your development. Keep any self-centered behaviour in check and showcase yourself as aligned to the organization’s vision, growth and profitability.

3. Separate the Personal and the Professional

Focus on having a productive and value-oriented conversation, rather than an emotional one. Be positive and empathetic enough to acknowledge the foreseeable challenges. Accept the reality of the increment and business environment in which you operate. Remember to self-check to ensure you aren’t taking the number you see in this climate too personally!

4. 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.

5. Be Realistic

Understand the challenges, concerns, 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 familial and social pressures. Please avoid any threatening to leave during the performance review!

6. Speak Up

Don’t hesitate to have an open and honest conversation with your appraiser. If you feel underappreciated or undervalued, discuss this at the review meeting. Understand the dynamics and the overall challenges faced by the appraiser to be able to manage your own expectations. Take feedback as an opportunity for growth. Also, don’t cross the the fine line between asking for an explanation and being aggressive!

7. Manage Yourself

Understand that there are a number of factors that contribute to the increment you receive that may or may not have anything to do with your performance. Think about your own motivators, appreciate areas that you need to develop and identify your deal breakers. Remember, maintaining relationships in the workplace has far-reaching long-term value than than an immediate performance review. Nurture those relationships carefully!

(By Shubika Bilkha, Partner, EdpowerU)

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