My piece of the pie

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?

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7 Responses to My piece of the pie

  1. Barbara says:

    What you did not say is how good your team has been this past year. Is your decision for yourself a complete ‘all or nothing’ decision. You get something or you get nothing? Because it seems even a small increase for yourself would be in keeping with scripture. Is there an option for going back to your Taiwanese manager and making the case for a bigger pie?

    As always, praying for you – and that you come to peace about your decision.

    • fghart says:

      Barbara, your comment was lost in the “spam” folder (how rude of WordPress!). It’s been a rough year all around and I definitely want to be fair. In my final recommendation, I felt good about the distribution of pie for the team. I’d rather sacrifice what I might consider “my fair share” than feel like I’m taking from others. I trust God will take care of me. Thanks for your prayers.

  2. ADallasDiva says:

    Do you want what’s fair or what’s right? They aren’t necessarily the same thing. Is this about getting what is your due or taking care of your people? Again, which is more important?

    • fghart says:

      Great question. I should have mentioned – I was capped on the reward for my top performers. The real question is about generosity for the low- to mid- performers. The people I want (and need) to take care of will get the max I can give.

  3. jessica says:

    that is a hard one. Any chance you could ask for close to what you deserve and then there’d be a bit more for the team. times are tough and we all need to take care of ourselves although I see your point in wanting to avoid the resentment.

    Tough call.

    • fghart says:

      Jessica, You’re right about the need to compromise. I’ve resigned myself to “settling” but I’m also going to make some other changes. My next post will highlight my internal compromise.

      Thanks for your insight.

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