That Sounds Too Much Like Work

, , , , , | Working | April 7, 2021

It’s the time of year that the company reviews pay. Unfortunately, there has been a major downturn in business that the company is trying to recover from. It makes it a lot harder to justify pay increases.

I have just taken on managing a team. This will be my first round of reviews with them. I start with the youngest team member. The last boss warned me that he was a bit lazy and had zero ambition.

Right at the start of the meeting, he comes out with this.

Team Member: “I’ve been here for three years now; I think I deserve a pay rise.”

Me: “You don’t qualify for pay rises by work time alone; each year we set goals and you meet them to justify the pay increase. Did you get goals set last year?”

Team Member: “I don’t know.”

Me: “I can check. Okay, so you had some set. Let’s see… Okay, good. One. Lateness, no more than three instances of unexcused lateness. Looks like you had some real issues making it in on time last year. How have you done this year?”

Team Member: “Yeah, fine, I think I’ve improved.”

I take a look at the printout; he has done way worse.

Me: “Okay, it looks like that isn’t great. Let’s look at number two. Take on three small tasks that help the department. These all seem easy enough. Have you picked these up?”

Team Member: “Yes.”

Me: “Can you show me?”

Team Member: “No. I didn’t have the chance.”

Me: “Okay, last one. Three: spend at least one hour a month on the e-learning site. Have you done that?”

Team Member: “Err, yes. But I don’t have the certificates.”

Me: “That’s okay; they can be printed off at any time. Should I ask them to?”

Team Member: “No, I don’t think I probably did it. So, do I get a pay rise?”

Me: “I have to justify every penny, and at the moment, that is a hard sell. The first thing they will ask is if you have met all objectives, and you haven’t met one. So, no, I won’t put you forward this year. But we can work together to get your goals complete for next year.”

We had the same conversation again later. I proposed meetings that he didn’t show and asked for updates that he never gave. Eventually, I think he accepted that he didn’t want to do the tiny bit of extra work to get on.

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