Let me tell you, it’s not a simple question. And if your answer’s a “yes,” you definitely haven’t through the question deeply yet. Of course, I don’t mean to say that people don’t deserve a raise. They definitely do. But are they able to justify and communicate the value they’ve created for the organization over the past 12 months?
Mind you, we aren’t talking about your accomplishments (billability, initiatives or other stuff that would’ve been done by anyone else in the team) or the fact that you consistently proved to be the most ideal team member (because you checked off each and every item from the list of KPIs assigned to you). I’m talking about creating value that’s much more than what’s expected of you. If that’s a “no,” then I’m wondering why would anyone ever expect an increase in pay?
Sound ridiculous? Of course, it does! Let’s take share an amusing example — Netflix. We all (love to!) pay a fixed subscription fee each month for it’s streaming service. What happens if Netflix jacks up its rate by 15% towards the end of this year for the exact same services that it provides right now? The explanation being “there are more new programs to entertain us!” And you, of course, will wonder, “isn’t that what you’re supposed to do anyway? Do you expect me to pay extra for the services that you’ve already been providing?”
Would you think Netflix deserves a raise? If you’re shaking your head, I think it’s about time that you reflect into your own expectations. Are they fair? Do they make sense to your employer?
I’m pretty confident there will be employees who work their butts off to add value for the companies and still don’t get an adequate raise (in proportion to their efforts at least). Worse, they don’t get anything at all because the company is in trouble. I can empathize. It’s a tough situation to be in but there are opportunities elsewhere that you can explore (if staying isn’t an option) because your ability to create value is much appreciated by organizations that are in the high-growth stages or want to make a bold move.
But if you have sincerely reflected and have realized that your contribution wasn’t significant enough, it’s time to get into the higher gear and start delivering. Your company counts on you to deliver your best and that’s almost always over and above your key performance indicators.