I am faced with a dilemma this week: a conundrum of sorts. It seems that my little organization in Texas will be graced with a “pay adjustment”. The budget is a small percent of our total salary base. That’s the pie. Adjustments are expected to be performance-based. I was a manager at MFE for years and I’m familiar with their guidelines. I’m not familiar with my current employer’s guidelines. In fact, I’m mystified by my conversation with my Taiwan-based manager on this subject.
One surprise? I need to recommend my own pay increase. I’m a candidate for promotion but the promotion will not come with a pay increase.
The challenge? As the Line Director (responsible for delivering product) I was the highest paid employee in the organization last year. This means small changes in a proposed “percent increase” for me can largely reduce the remainder of the pie.
The dilemma? As the Acting Division Director, I’ve successfully led the team through an evolving business model and driven several initiatives that have more than paid for a year’s salary for my entire organization. My success in this role means the operation is running without the ineffective leader (my ex-boss) who made significantly more than I’m currently making. In the absence of an Administrator/Office Manager (also cut from the organization) I’ve picked up all responsibility for Human Resources, Payroll, Bookkeeping, etc.
What do I deserve? I searched Scripture and found in Proverbs (3:27) “Do not withhold good from those who deserve it, when it is in your power to act.” Surely this applies to my team members and to myself, but it’s an uncomfortable position for me to be in. This is one of the few times in my life that my assessment of what I deserve is in competition with my assessment of what my team deserves.
What would you do? If you give yourself what you think you deserve, there’s less available for the team. If you don’t, would you feel resentment?