Scheduled Pay Raises?
Suzannah of the Square Periods — you know the editor, who didn’t play the banjo but should have — was one of three editors who had started work on the same day. I started work as their Executive Editor a few months after. Sheila and Kris had been teachers. Suzannah’s husband was a teacher still.
What all three editors knew about pay raises looked like the scheduled increases of teacher salaries.
That, unfortunately, turned out to be a problem.
When the time came for their first-year performance appraisals, I met with each of them individually. We went through the process of how the self-appraisal part worked, what I would do after that, and what we would talk about together.
Sheila, the star of the three, was already being considered for the next promotion. In the meeting with Sheila something unusual came up. She might have been looking to short-circuit what she didn’t want to happen.
Only Fair or Is It?
Sheila told me about an agreement the three editors had made.
“The three of us are having lunch to celebrate our first anniversary.” Sheila mentioned that they had agreed to reveal the amount of their salary increases. She said they wanted to be sure everyone was treated fairly.
“Oooh. That’s not a good idea.” I said. “I don’t think you want everyone to make the same.”
“Why’s that?Ã¢â¬Â she asked. Remember that teachers don’t go to business school. They think in terms of grades and whole class rules. We spoke about company no tell policy, but I was focused on getting her personal investment in not wanting to share. Understanding that the no tell policy is a support and a protection is important.
“Imagine I hire a guy named Frank with a resume just like yours on the very same day as I hire you. One year later, you’ve done great work. You have managed three projects on your own. Whereas Frank has been confused at every turn and managed to screw up two projects so badly, they will miss their release dates by months. Same raises for both of you?”
Sheila had just figured it out.
Money is paid for what the work is worth — and for management of that work in the company’s interest.
The more I wake up in the middle of the night, the more I have to think about the goals of the company, the more I’m responsible for the work of others, the more money I should make. Money = stress, execution, productivity, responsibility. End of story.
I then had the same conversation with the other two. The lunch happened. The salary revealing discussion did not.
Business Rule 9 may sound simplistic, if you already know it.
It’s key to ANY negotiation. When I learned it, suddenly I knew I understood how to buy a new car and how to purchase a house. The mysteries of talking money started to demystify before me. The value of money isn’t just important at work.
–ME “Liz” Strauss
Business Rule 8: What Are Your Square Periods?
Business Rule 7: Sound Bytes, Stories, and Analogies
Business Rule 6: Who Dropped the Paddle?
Business Rule 5: Never Underestimate the Power of a Voice on the Telephone