My responsibilities have increased without an increase in salary: Help!
While it’s probably true that most employers recognise the duties of an employee and pay accordingly, some employees find that their responsibilities increase while their job description – and thus pay – remain the same. Imagine being hired as a web developer and then being told to also help with the office admin duties but not being paid anymore.
A good manager will respond well to any employee who is willing to take on more responsibility with little or no increase in pay, but there is usually understanding that the new grade will be made official within a reasonable period of time, and therefore will result in a new salary.
That said, there are times when a manager will take advantage of an employee’s good nature and let them carry out the work without paying them any extra, whether that’s having them work more hours, take on more work, or give them extra responsibilities. The upshot is that, in essence, a boss could give a worker the duties and tasks of, say, a project manager without changing their salary.
For an employee, there are a few options. The first one should be on the assumption that the worker wants advancement within the company, and, pay increase or not, extra responsibilities in a sign of advancement. Therefore, it shouldn’t be the case that you immediately kick up a fuss, as that could damage your career. Rather, treat it as a new opportunity, but make your acceptance of the new duties conditional. So, for example, say that you will gladly take on the new responsibilities, but only on the condition that you receive a formal review, performance bonus, promotion or pay increase within a period of time – six months or a year perhaps. If the boss refuses, you can then enquire what they will do for you in return for your commitment to the company and your job. You can then decide whether to accept or deny the new responsibilities.
What’s important though is to view the situation properly. Don’t get so caught up on the money side of things that you overlook the other benefits. For instance, receiving a promotion, even unofficially, shows trust in your abilities as a worker and is also an indication of you moving up the ranks. If you have lofty ambitions, you can view this small increase in duties as a stepping-stone to a higher position than your current one. Also, offering you more responsibilities can be a test of your abilities without making any commitment from the boss – for example, he may think you work hard enough to deserve a promotion, but isn’t sure how well you could go with the tasks required of you in the next level. So by giving you some extra tasks, he can gauge not only your ability to do them but also your attitude and commitment to the company, both of which can go a long way in determining your future at the company.
While it’s natural to feel somewhat exploited if you are given more tasks than your job description explains and receive no extra money, you should try to keep it in perspective. If you don’t want to move up in the company or your boss is rigid against discussing a review or further pay, then looking for a new job is probably the best option. If you do want to progress, though, keep an open line of communication with your boss, tell them how you feel about wanting a review, bonus or pay increase as a result of your new tasks, and ultimately view this progression as another step on the corporate ladder climbed.