How Not to Handle a Pay Review

I was recently shown an email that was sent by a very senior manager at a large multinational IT service company. I have changed some of the details to protect the guilty but here is roughly what it said:

To all staff,

As you are all aware the salary review and bonus 2007 process is now complete. In terms of cost increase the overall company budget is 4% for the whole year. Each business area has determined how best to allocate their funds. For our area the average salary increase is 2.5%. This figure then leaves funding for promotions and contingency for the rest of 2008.

The salary review has been based on:

  • Contribution and performance
  • The need to retain key skills
  • Internal and external employment market relativity

For our area the outcome is:

  • For those who receive >4% this is well above the company average and ceiling for the year
  • For those who receive the company ceiling of 4% this is also well above the the average for our area of 2.5%
  • For those who receive >2.5% and <= 4% then this is above the average for our area of 2.5%
  • For those who receive either no salary award or less than the average for our area this was arrived at using external and internal pay comparison data

I hope you will all fully understand the rationale taken on this years salary review but if you do have any questions or queries can I ask that you take them up with your immediate line manager in the first instance.

My main objection to this is the second list of bullet points which, as far as I can tell, just states that your increase will be somewhere between 0% and >4%. If it is more than 2.5% you should think yourself lucky. If it is less then don’t complain because we’re doing this fairly. Oh and if you do decide to complain you should speak to your line manager because I haven’t got the time to be dealing with queries from minions.

What possible benefit is there to sending out this email that contains virtually no useful information for the recipents? Unless it was delibertely designed to provoke thoughts like “Maybe the budget for payrises would be greater this year if we didn’t employ highly paid senior managers to send out pointless emails”?

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1 comment so far

  1. aedjp on

    …And if you’ve set yourself a target to complain less at work, this email would make it quite hard to keep your record clean!


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