Author Topic: Newly promoted - employees make more than me. How to tackle with my supervisor?  (Read 1610 times)

ItsALongStory

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hey,

I understand this is a bit of a first world problem but I figured I'd get your unbiased opinion on my situation. I recently got moved from a single contributor to a people manager of my former team, promotions aren't handled in a traditional way where I work so I technically didn't get a raise for this new role. I have a relatively small number of direct reports and things are going great. I get along super well with my directs as well as my boss.

As I was looking through some of the resources I now have access to I noticed that the base pay levels for every single one of my employees is higher than mine. The difference ranges from about 5% all the way to 15% as far as my base pay is concerned. Most of them have been with the company roughly the same time a I have, the individual that has been around the longest is the one where the biggest pay gap exists.

I am relatively confident I will get a decent raise (you don't necessarily get a big raise when you take a new role, you first prove yourself and then you earn that reward) in the next 6 months but I don't want to just assume either. I got a glowing review but promotions are hard to come by and tough to truly count on. How would you recommend approaching this if at all?

BicycleB

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1. Wait 6 months (or store the data quietly, and wait), kick ass on the new job
2. To prepare for 3, research external pay rates for your new job title. Use those instead of in-company data,
unless you're overpaid per the externals
3. If nothing happens by 6 months, ask supervisor if there's a process for triggering raises
4. If yes, ask that process be invoked; if not, ask for raise, using the external quotes as your justification.

Step 2 is so you don't look like you're snooping.

ShoulderThingThatGoesUp

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Itís not snooping to know your direct reportsí salaries. Itís part of the job.

If your supervisory position is anything like mine, there may be good reasons why some in your group have a higher salary - technical expertise but donít want a management role, for example. So my salary is probably 75th percentile for my group.

But itís a reasonable question of your supervisor to ask how salaries are set, and how you can expect yours to compare.

use2betrix

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Were you content with your salary before comparing them to others?

2Birds1Stone

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In my industry (Tech), it's not uncommon at all to have individual contributors earn more than front line managers.

It's also not uncommon to have newer employees (especially those hired in this current labor market), to have negotiated higher starting salaries than those of folks who have been employed for 5-10 years.

So I guess I don't have an answer to your question, but know it's not that uncommon.

COEE

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Kick ass at your job.  If you don't get a promotion in 12 months then I'd start looking to take my skills elsewhere.  Don't ask - just go.  The best raises are usually when you leave.  Remember "raises" come in all forms - not just salary.  Also remember that generally speaking - there's always someone willing to offer more money.  The more important thing is if you're excited to go to work on Monday.

ItsALongStory

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Thanks all for your response, I was inclined to go with the patient approach for the next 6-12 months while kicking ass in my new role.

What @2Birds1Stone says makes a lot of sense although I joined back in early 2016 as well. The others came in with higher credentials (education) so they tend to start out higher. It'll all even out in the end. The standard promotion rhythm is about once every 18-24 months and I've gotten two in about 30 months so far.

One question that was asked is if I am satisfied with my current salary and that is definitely the case, I feel super fortunate but don't want to be that naÔve person who trusts the process and gets left behind.

I am definitely excited about work and enjoy it but as with every job there are parts of it that I dislike. Fortunately we have the flexibility to somewhat morph our roles into what we enjoy doing/think we are good at vs just executing against specific deliverables on a daily basis.

mm1970

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In my industry (Tech), it's not uncommon at all to have individual contributors earn more than front line managers.

It's also not uncommon to have newer employees (especially those hired in this current labor market), to have negotiated higher starting salaries than those of folks who have been employed for 5-10 years.

So I guess I don't have an answer to your question, but know it's not that uncommon.

I was going to say this.  It's pretty common for highly qualified individual contributors to make more than their supervisors in tech.

Many years ago, when I was managing a group, one of my employees made a good amount more than me.  I can't remember how much.  $15K?  It was long ago.  She was 20 years older with 20 years more experience.

In your case, if you are of similar experience and level, then I'd definitely push it.  But in a few months.

ItsALongStory

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Yeah that makes sense, I'll wait it out. Thanks everyone!

MrThatsDifferent

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I personally abhor organizations that would promote someone to managing a team, with all of the challenges and complexities, but not immediately increase the salary. The prove yourself mentality is bullshit too. Have they given you additional training, coaching and support to help you in the new role? Companies can be such shit at people management. Annoying. Youíre raise should come not because of comparison with your reports, it should come because your responsibilities have changed and increased. Simple.

mm1970

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I personally abhor organizations that would promote someone to managing a team, with all of the challenges and complexities, but not immediately increase the salary. The prove yourself mentality is bullshit too. Have they given you additional training, coaching and support to help you in the new role? Companies can be such shit at people management. Annoying. Youíre raise should come not because of comparison with your reports, it should come because your responsibilities have changed and increased. Simple.

I was going to say this too.  My old boss used to say shit like "pay for performance".  Meaning you'd get the pay after you performed.  But I thought it was BS.  I mean - I did well enough that you PROMOTED ME, now pay me dammit!

FIRE@50

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I would never take a promotion without a raise.

Beardy

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I would never take a promotion without a raise.

I'd take the promotion, update my resume, and find a better paying position elsewhere.

caracarn

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I feel super fortunate but don't want to be that naÔve person who trusts the process and gets left behind.

Sharing my favorite quote with you: "Comparison is the thief of joy."

brute

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I would never take a promotion without a raise.

I'd take the promotion, update my resume, and find a better paying position elsewhere.

I've done this many times. So far I'm up $122k / year from where I started.

FIRE@50

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I feel super fortunate but don't want to be that naÔve person who trusts the process and gets left behind.

Sharing my favorite quote with you: "Comparison is the thief of joy."
There is a difference between being upset that you don't make the most money in the office and allowing yourself to be taken advantage of.

mm1970

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I feel super fortunate but don't want to be that naÔve person who trusts the process and gets left behind.

Sharing my favorite quote with you: "Comparison is the thief of joy."
There is a difference between being upset that you don't make the most money in the office and allowing yourself to be taken advantage of.
Yes, this.  People who say this have never been the lone female in the office making 25% less than the men for the same (or a higher!) job.

caracarn

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I feel super fortunate but don't want to be that naÔve person who trusts the process and gets left behind.

Sharing my favorite quote with you: "Comparison is the thief of joy."
There is a difference between being upset that you don't make the most money in the office and allowing yourself to be taken advantage of.
Yes, this.  People who say this have never been the lone female in the office making 25% less than the men for the same (or a higher!) job.
I was responding to the fact that the OP responded they were fine with their pay until they found out (compared).  Nothing in the posts seemed to indicate that they was anyone being taken advantage of any more than the typical disparity that can happen.  The quote I included said they felt super fortunate to be making what they were, not a comment from someone who is upset.  Maybe I understood the sentiment wrong.

ItsALongStory

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And so after waiting many moons (not) I brought it up today with the boss lady and she told me that it's already in the works.

We will see if it happens but I have some executive support for it so things are looking good.

ShoulderThingThatGoesUp

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Smart managers see these issues coming and head them off, which it sounds like your boss is doing.

Make sure youíre looking out for your reports the same way.

caracarn

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Smart managers see these issues coming and head them off, which it sounds like your boss is doing.

Make sure youíre looking out for your reports the same way.
Yes, unless you have an HR department who is a barrier to it, like we do where I am at.  I tried to get positions properly aligned to market for the couple years I have been here and HR always finds a way to say we are different and those programmer positions are not really like other programmers and that our benefits make things different.

ItsALongStory

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Smart managers see these issues coming and head them off, which it sounds like your boss is doing.

Make sure youíre looking out for your reports the same way.
Yes, unless you have an HR department who is a barrier to it, like we do where I am at.  I tried to get positions properly aligned to market for the couple years I have been here and HR always finds a way to say we are different and those programmer positions are not really like other programmers and that our benefits make things different.

We are probably a top 3 employer in my area so we are ahead of the competition, people that leave generally move to a different locale to get a better deal. That said, my employer (Fortune 50 company) spends a significant amount of resources on market research.