January 22, 2011

HR's solution to employees being underpaid


This Dilbert comic reminds me of an episode I had with our HR department a few years back. I suspected that I was significantly underpaid not only to the market, which seems to be our company's modus operandi, but also to my peers in my department who do the exact same job and have the exact same title. This was before I ascended (or descended) into my current Chief Mockery Officer position and actually gave a shit about my job.

I raised this concern with my manager who asked HR to perform a salary survey. Surprise, surprise it turns out that I was paid 30 percent less than my peers and close to 50 percent below market. Now, don't cry me too big of a river. It's not like I was the french fry guy at McDonald's getting screwed at $5.75 an hour while the same guy at In N Out is getting $6.75 an hour. But still, being that much underpaid still ticked me off.

With the HR survey completed, I was confident that I would get an equitable salary adjustment during my next review. Boy was my confidence misplaced. HR has this little matrix they use, which I will mock in more detail in a future post, that concludes based on my performance score (5 out of 5) and significant below market pay (greater than 20 percent) that I should get a maximum adjustment of...drumroll...5 percent. Which, if you do the math, means that I will catch up to the market pay by the time I'm eligible to collect Social Security.

This whole salary issue is likely what led to my "Fuck You" attitude towards my company and my job. Their unwillingness to give me an equitable adjustment has probably cost the company hundreds of thousands of dollars in lost productivity from me over the years.  But on the upside, I wouldn't have this fun website to work on if they had brought me up to market.  So for that, thank-you HR.


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Chief Mockery Officer is owned and operated by The Jaba Group.