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raises outside MegaCorp's annual increases?
Old 07-19-2016, 11:30 AM   #1
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raises outside MegaCorp's annual increases?

Anyone ever ask for a raise when MegaCorp prescribes a paycheck date that the new raise will go into effect....ie. everyone gets merits on the first paycheck of Jan. (this year I was told max was 3% I am new, I received 2.5% because only top 5% of resources receive 3%).

vs

asking for a raise outside that period after you did something exceptional to add value, perhaps obtained some certifications, volunteered to help co-workers, lead your expertise in a few important projects, and created processes that reduced labor hours...

and...how did you approach this? Did you first determine if peers were even executing something similar at times...I would imagine...I've seen promotion emails come through.

I don't need a promotion with the raise..but I could see how peer's who have more tenure and have not received promotion might roll eyes at a 1yr newbie getting one... thoughts?

Some might presume a promotion yields the larger raise, but in my career it hasn't been the case, but when the big raises happened I was at a small start-up...and titles had less of a purpose.

What are your thoughts knowing the little bit about my particular megacorp culture, process and protocol?
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Old 07-19-2016, 01:10 PM   #2
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I never asked, but received a couple of times over a long time with my MC, and also gave them to a few people. There were occasional years when the MC was in position to do so, then usually discussed at VP level and higher to compare comp with market rates and "true-up" those on the lower side of things.

More often than not, those were people who had been promoted internally, but gotten stuck with low promotions due to caps (like 10% no matter what).

You say you are new - like year 1? You also indicate you are not already recognized as the top 5% so, yes the eyerolls are probable. Depending on the culture at your MC, new ppl might default non-top, but that's less common these days. Do you have the confidence to ask your boss to put their neck out for you and win? They won't want to try unless it's a pretty sure thing.

Some questions to ask yourself:
- Would your immediate boss consider you his most valuable employee - a right hand?
- Would your boss's peers also recognize you as a strong player? Do they know you? - - Would they vouch for you if your boss speaks up in his/her staff meeting on your behalf? Or would they say "Who, they new guy?"
- Does your boss's boss already know you are a star, based on your contributions?

Exceptional is going to be impact to bottom line - you got something amazingly done/delivered. The things you describe, are nice but not stellar: Not a cert, not helping others, not leading projects or driving efficiency - those are all good but those are only enough to edge you slightly out of the mid-point in most competitive organizations, or probably "meets expectations" if you are in IT or any aggressive MC.

When you can say "they know they need me, I am the best performer on this team, and I deliver exceptional results on things that SVPs and shareholders care about" then you have capital to ask.
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Old 07-19-2016, 01:21 PM   #3
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When you can say "they know they need me, I am the best performer on this team, and I deliver exceptional results on things that SVPs and shareholders care about" then you have capital to ask.
IMO excellent post with the best repeated.

I did "go to the well" a few times. Definitely had the ammunition, and the corporate visibility to pull it off.

In hindsight I'd have done it differently today. Less I'm worth more and focus on the very visible part of what Megacorp had me doing.
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Old 07-19-2016, 02:51 PM   #4
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I never asked, but received a couple of times over a long time with my MC, and also gave them to a few people. There were occasional years when the MC was in position to do so, then usually discussed at VP level and higher to compare comp with market rates and "true-up" those on the lower side of things.

More often than not, those were people who had been promoted internally, but gotten stuck with low promotions due to caps (like 10% no matter what).

You say you are new - like year 1? You also indicate you are not already recognized as the top 5% so, yes the eyerolls are probable. Depending on the culture at your MC, new ppl might default non-top, but that's less common these days. Do you have the confidence to ask your boss to put their neck out for you and win? They won't want to try unless it's a pretty sure thing.

Some questions to ask yourself:
- Would your immediate boss consider you his most valuable employee - a right hand?
- Would your boss's peers also recognize you as a strong player? Do they know you? - - Would they vouch for you if your boss speaks up in his/her staff meeting on your behalf? Or would they say "Who, they new guy?"
- Does your boss's boss already know you are a star, based on your contributions?

Exceptional is going to be impact to bottom line - you got something amazingly done/delivered. The things you describe, are nice but not stellar: Not a cert, not helping others, not leading projects or driving efficiency - those are all good but those are only enough to edge you slightly out of the mid-point in most competitive organizations, or probably "meets expectations" if you are in IT or any aggressive MC.

When you can say "they know they need me, I am the best performer on this team, and I deliver exceptional results on things that SVPs and shareholders care about" then you have capital to ask.
These are some very thoughtful points. I am at the one year mark and have contributed quite a bit to the point my initiatives are noticed by Sr Leaders and are visible. The value was recognized by sr leaders when I was tossed around an email chain after assisting quite a few people (I automated tasks they were doing). They were happy enough that it made it onto the sr leaders radar in an email that got passed around.

I feel like I'm in a position now where I've delivered a great deal of value in the first year, and its quite visible that I can continue to deliver this value for the next year...to me that's a talking point.

I have about 9years of experience and I was hired into a pay "band" exactly in the middle. The band had been aggregated and they set the band +/- 10% of the local markets mean. At the time of hiring I asked for a little more than the middle of the band and was denied...not that it's a leg, but it could be worth mentioning in my case to my immediate manager. I actually wouldn't feel greedy asking, and I feel like my immediate boss would be willing to stick their neck out for me. They have in the past to smooth out rough patches with projects etc.




I feel like this has a few paths that could follow.


I ask and manager says no way, states a reason like its out of my control, or possibly is just a bad reason to say no...
I ask and manager says will ask their boss and get back to me
I ask and manager says yes, would feel comfortable getting me a raise.


I am smart enough to know manager cannot authorize the raise personally...and that person is likely 1-2 levels above my manager.
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Old 07-19-2016, 05:29 PM   #5
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Aerides made some very good points. As one who has been on the receiving end of these types of requests in companies of all sizes, I definitely second them.

In my experience, your manager at your mega corp has less flexibility than someone at a small start-up. The mega has a hierarchical budget; they have to do EEOC demographic reports; and they have an HR department where someone is responsible for watching for and reporting on salary inequities. Based on this, I think it is going to be very hard to get a merit raise mid-year. You could get a bonus, or you could get a market increase, but if they do merit raises in January, and you got one near the top of the range after only 6 months, I don't think you'll get another one now.

You can ask, but unless you are below market rate, which it doesn't sound like you are, it's just not very likely to happen. What you're really doing with a request now is beginning the negotiations for the next merit increase in Jan 2017. Having this conversation in advance puts your manager on notice that you're angling for a larger raise or promotion and you're willing to do the work that'll get one.

Your request should be all about the value you've added and how it's affected the company's bottom line. Please do not refer to anyone else's salary or promotion. I also would not mention the negotiation from when you were hired. That is over and done and you already accepted the lower number and then got a raise that probably put you close to what you initially asked for.

If the answer to your request is no, then you continue the conversation by reiterating your desire to take on projects and tasks that will lead to you becoming even more valuable and promotable. Ask what it will take and ask him to help you get there.
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Old 07-19-2016, 05:43 PM   #6
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My humble opinion, based ONLY on what you have provided is:
  1. You should provide the same or better stellar value you for a second year before bringing it up. Prove it wasn't a one-off.
  2. Coming in with that type of request after only a year (regardless of your performance) sets a certain "tone" with an employer.

Wait. You might be surprised what happens on its own. "Good things..." and all that.

Again, JMHO.
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Old 07-19-2016, 08:12 PM   #7
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OP, if your MegaCorp is reasonably established & process-oriented, there already is a periodic review process in place wherein the org leads & leaders review & discuss the team members' performance. As a middle-manager, it is a pain in the butt to do a promo and/or raise "out of band" so my suggestion is to do a great job, continue adding value, and call these things out in your company's review process - usually a periodic write-up from you & your manager. In your 1:1s with your manager, it is fine to say that you are really excited about the work, happy to be making contributions, and that you are interested in moving up the ranks at an appropriate pace. You can also ask in a 1:1 what the typical "leveling velocity" is for new hires in your role; show the manager that you want to climb but also want to play within their game.

Finally, if you don't see the compensation love that you want, some of the best ways to accelerate salary/compensation in the software industry is to move companies...
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Old 07-19-2016, 08:20 PM   #8
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Money talks a bull excrement walks. If they are not rewarding you appropriately, either dial back your effort/hours, or see what the next shop will offer. The best way to get an out of cycle raise is generally to leave.
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Old 07-19-2016, 08:59 PM   #9
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Finally, if you don't see the compensation love that you want, some of the best ways to accelerate salary/compensation in the software industry is to move companies...
OP: I should add that, if you do look at switching companies, be sure to weigh the overall compensation package. Last year I took a very close look at a certain South American river company and found their package to be very lacking when factoring in 401k & HSA match and vacation / sick time. Add that to the longer commute and... what was the phrase I used? "It doesn't make sense for me to pick up the phone." I may have been too glib there, but South American river company is a churn & burner and in this case I found that the grass was not greener on the other side. I didn't realize how much so until I got to the compensation part of the interview process, so don't assume another flashy company will give a better deal than what you have now. Research.
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Old 07-20-2016, 06:39 AM   #10
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If this is your first year at this company, I would not bring up the subject. Instead, I would have a conversation with your supervisor about expanding your yearly objectives/responsibilities to increase your value to the firm. Add new additional ones or come up with ones that are more of a stretch and that are quantifiable. Then during the year demonstrate your commitment to excel.
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Old 07-20-2016, 07:00 AM   #11
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In my experience, your manager at your mega corp has less flexibility than someone at a small start-up. The mega has a hierarchical budget; they have to do EEOC demographic reports; and they have an HR department where someone is responsible for watching for and reporting on salary inequities. Based on this, I think it is going to be very hard to get a merit raise mid-year. You could get a bonus, or you could get a market increase, but if they do merit raises in January, and you got one near the top of the range after only 6 months, I don't think you'll get another one now.

You can ask, but unless you are below market rate, which it doesn't sound like you are, it's just not very likely to happen.
+1. I was in management at two Megacorps while working, and any salary increase outside the scheduled annual was highly irregular. Unless you were actually promoted, or for example you went from Process Engineer to Senior Process Engineer between annual increases, it simply wouldn't happen.

I would make sure top performers got (much) larger annual increases others. If you were a top performer, you would have gotten positive feedback throughout the year, acknowledging your efforts/contributions. And if you'd come to me asking for a raise after X months, I would again acknowledge your contributions, and make sure you knew it would be reflected in your increase at the next annual salary adjustment.

Getting an increase between annuals wouldn't have much if any net effect on your salary - IOW if I gave you an increase after 6 months, the annual adjustment 6 months later would be less. I would not get hung up on when an increase occurs, but on how your salary compares to market.
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Old 07-20-2016, 10:55 AM   #12
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I have been at the same megacorp for 35 years. The only way to get a raise or promotion is through the bureauocratic process. No point wasting your breath asking at another time. If you did something extra or special, bring it up at your next annual review.
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Old 07-20-2016, 11:21 AM   #13
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If this is your first year at this company, I would not bring up the subject. Instead, I would have a conversation with your supervisor about expanding your yearly objectives/responsibilities to increase your value to the firm. Add new additional ones or come up with ones that are more of a stretch and that are quantifiable. Then during the year demonstrate your commitment to excel.
^And after all that they turn around and promote and give larger raises to their "Cabana Boys"
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Old 07-20-2016, 12:58 PM   #14
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^And after all that they turn around and promote and give larger raises to their "Cabana Boys"
We have a winnah!!!!

That is why you are well advised to remain agile, mobile and hostile throughout your career. Ignore the managers on this thread. They made a career out of enforcing the HR status quo at large corporations which is primarily designed to keep salaries down and minimize litigation.
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Old 07-20-2016, 02:16 PM   #15
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We have a winnah!!!!

That is why you are well advised to remain agile, mobile and hostile throughout your career. Ignore the managers on this thread. They made a career out of enforcing the HR status quo at large corporations which is primarily designed to keep salaries down and minimize litigation.
Yeah, no risk involved in that approach...
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Old 07-20-2016, 02:25 PM   #16
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Yeah, no risk involved in that approach...
Right, especially the hostile part
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Old 07-20-2016, 03:11 PM   #17
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Yeah, no risk involved in that approach...
Right, all sheep funployees should just do what is easiest and most beneficial for management and HR...
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Old 07-20-2016, 07:15 PM   #18
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Every company and organization is different. Best bet is to find someone you can trust and ask them how things like this work. If it's a manager who can be a "godfather" for your career, all the better. But sometimes the more senior techies are the ones with the most honest and realistic views.


If you can't find someone like that, since you feel comfortable talking to your manager, it seems ok to me to say that you were fine coming in at $X, but now that you've been here a year you feel like you've contributed a lot and are worth more than that and the 2.5% raise, what do you think, and is there anything that can be done for me, or what else do I have to do, etc.
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Old 07-22-2016, 06:00 PM   #19
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+1. I was in management at two Megacorps while working, and any salary increase outside the scheduled annual was highly irregular. Unless you were actually promoted, or for example you went from Process Engineer to Senior Process Engineer between annual increases, it simply wouldn't happen.

I would make sure top performers got (much) larger annual increases others. If you were a top performer, you would have gotten positive feedback throughout the year, acknowledging your efforts/contributions. And if you'd come to me asking for a raise after X months, I would again acknowledge your contributions, and make sure you knew it would be reflected in your increase at the next annual salary adjustment.

Getting an increase between annuals wouldn't have much if any net effect on your salary - IOW if I gave you an increase after 6 months, the annual adjustment 6 months later would be less. I would not get hung up on when an increase occurs, but on how your salary compares to market.
Yes and no. It really does depend on a number of things, chief among them how much political capital your boss has within the organization to even advocate on your behalf. If your boss and his business unit have no political capital it doesn't matter what you do, it will go nowhere. OTOH, if your boss is adept at placing his/her head in a very dark place of higher ups, you're golden. If a big and powerful enough cheese (usually someone(s) above your boss) wants to violate HR's sacred compensation structure nothing in Heaven and Hell can prevent it. This doesn't happen in a vacuum, however--your boss, you and your BU will have proved the value--perceived or real--that's been added to the organization. Never forget that a part of what goes on at higher levels of many organizations is jockeying for position and power (once you get into the inner circle of "leadership" within an organization compensation can often times make no sense at all and careen off the rails, diverging sharply with how the rest of the organization is remunerated).

Here's a strategy for you:

1) Review your own job description;
2) Review duties of job parallel to yours as well as a job above yours;
3) Start to take on duties from either of those positions;
4) After about 6 months, or during your next performance review, discuss with your boss how your duties have changed/expanded and no longer match those of your job description;
5) Your boss can then go through HR's beloved "reclassification" process (they'll want their forms filled out and their process completed) and ask for your position to be reclassified;
6) If you've successfully taken on enough of the new duties to expand your job, this usually results in a new job description in a different (usually higher) grade with a corresponding increase in pay (with no relation to the merit pay cycle).

If they're really dense--and HR certainly can be--and deny the reclassification (or approve it without a corresponding pay increase), take your enhanced track record to a new organization that will compensate you fairly.
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