Author Topic: Acting / Temporary Manager Compensation  (Read 685 times)

BeginningToBudget

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Acting / Temporary Manager Compensation
« on: September 11, 2020, 07:23:08 PM »
Hi Mustachians!

I am looking for some personal / work advice. My manager has been unexpectedly out on FMLA for more than 6 weeks. Previous to their absence I had been given back-up manager approval rights, so on day 3/4 of their absence I was asked to be the acting manager while they were out, and readily agreed as I thought it would be an excellent learning experience and resume builder. I did not fully understand what I was signing myself up for.

My boss manages a large team with a wide range of job functions and by becoming the active manager. I went from being an engineer with my own roles/responsibilities, none of which involved people management. To managing a large team, completing all my boss's daily roles/responsibilities, and needing to complete all my own roles and responsibilities. I work about 200% more than I did previously, and I am a salaried employee, so I have not been compensated in any way for taking on these additional responsibilities.

I thought by now we'd have a better idea of how "temporary" this situation would be but there has really not been any sort of discussion and I'm starting to feel like I need to be the one to bring it up. That being said I do not want to be the ass that is requesting a timeline or additional money when my boss is having to deal with the day to day uncertainty of a family cancer diagnosis. At this point I am thinking that I may be the acting manager until the end of the year maybe longer.

In summary I think my questions are these:

1. Am I crazy for thinking I should get compensated for being the acting manager?  If that is not crazy,
2. At what point do I bring that up? Should I have already had that discussion? Do I wait for annual reviews? Or maybe until this has been my regular job for 3/4 months?
3. Also whom do I ask? My boss's boss? HR? Plant Manger?

Really any wisdom is greatly appreciated. Thanks in advance :)

2Cent

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Re: Acting / Temporary Manager Compensation
« Reply #1 on: September 11, 2020, 10:19:22 PM »
Kind of depends on the working environment, but in a professional setting I would expect you to have someone over you that is checking on your performance. Not your boss who is absent now, but maybe his boss. You definitely need to have a talk. Don't go in demanding more pay right away, but go in to discuss your work, expectations etc. You can bring up that it is a lot of extra work and extra responsibility. The worst mistake you can make is starting to work more than you are paid for when extra work comes to you. Managers will not even think about how much you work if you don't tell them. They will just assume you're fine and the extra work is a fun opportunity for you.


secondcor521

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Re: Acting / Temporary Manager Compensation
« Reply #2 on: September 11, 2020, 11:01:23 PM »
Not crazy, but you are getting paid in experience and exposure to being in the role.  If the company is good, then you'll be considered a top performing first line employee and should receive stock options at some point in the next year to recognize your contribution.  Related to question 2, you should certainly list it in your accomplishments for annual review time.

What I would recommend is sitting down with your boss' boss and say something like "I'm liking the management stuff and am glad to step up and put in some extra effort to help the team out.  However, I am finding it impossible to do two full-time jobs.  Here's all of what I'm doing:  X, Y, Z, P, D, Q.  How should I prioritize these responsibilities so I'm doing the most important 3/4 items, and who should be doing the things I can't get to?"

That's not the best wording, but the idea is to focus on trade-offs and priorities.  I had those conversations all the time, and as long as I was always working on the most important 40-45 hours worth of work each week, and working diligently and smartly, I never got in trouble for not doing the stuff at the bottom of the list.

It might have been better to have that trade-off/priority conversation at day 3/4, but now that has passed, I'd say it's better to have it as soon as possible.  If not, you're just building resentment/frustration, and they're not adequately informed as to what's going on to be able to respond well.  You should probably have asked about the duration of the assignment at the beginning as well, but it sounds like this is new stuff to you.

In an ideal world, the duration of your boss' absence would have been better announced, and their duties would have been spread around more rather than all assigned to one person (you).  I think most normal management teams would look at having you fulfill the majority of your boss' role *and* trying to do your first-line job as an unreasonable amount of work without some sort of adjustment - whether in extra salary, some extra time off later, some reduction in your regular duties, some stock options or other equity at the end of the assignment, or some combination of these.

I would not talk with HR about this, nor would I talk to the plant manager unless the plant manager also happens to be your boss' boss.

(Engineer for about 17 years, team manager for about 5 years at two Fortune 500 tech companies.)

MayDay

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Re: Acting / Temporary Manager Compensation
« Reply #3 on: September 13, 2020, 06:04:06 AM »
Whether you get compensated is highly dependant on your individual company. At mine I wouldn't be.

However I definitely wouldn't be doing 2 jobs either- you are the manager now, you need to reassign your engineering tasks to someone on your team. Or just put the projects on hold. Whether you do that on your own or talk to your new boss, I can't tell you. If it wase I'd come up with a few proposals, and then tell them which you think is he right choice and ask if they have any concerns with that.

bbqbonelesswing

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Re: Acting / Temporary Manager Compensation
« Reply #4 on: September 14, 2020, 02:17:33 PM »
That being said I do not want to be the ass that is requesting a timeline or additional money when my boss is having to deal with the day to day uncertainty of a family cancer diagnosis. At this point I am thinking that I may be the acting manager until the end of the year maybe longer.

You are not being an ass- your company is being the ass by getting you to do two jobs for the price of one.

Someone above said "...you are getting paid in experience and exposure to being in the role." - yeah, ok. How about being paid in cash?

If this happened to me, I would have a frank discussion with my boss' boss. Either your responsibilities need to be trimmed or your compensation needs to go up. They should be thankful they've got this much free work out of you so far. How much do you think they've saved in not paying you a higher salary for the past 6 weeks?

pdxvandal

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Re: Acting / Temporary Manager Compensation
« Reply #5 on: September 14, 2020, 02:39:03 PM »
This happened to me a few years ago, but in a different department. Right off the bat, they offered like a $5k (annual) amount of dollars to do the interim gig, which was probably $15k below what the departing manager made. Honestly, it wasn't really worth it with the extra hours/stress, outside of scoring very high on the subsequent annual review which typically translates into great job security. Personally, I think it's a very worthwhile question to ask, even if it is just a temporary bump.

Goldy

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Re: Acting / Temporary Manager Compensation
« Reply #6 on: September 14, 2020, 06:48:22 PM »
This happened to my wife and it was initially supposed to be 2 months but turned into about 9 on a month by month basis.  She didnít ask for additional compensation until her annual review and was awarded promotion retroactively which was very nice.  In the end the person moved to a different position and my wife got promoted a second time to fill that void.

What I took from it is that the company is looking for someone who can step up without drama and itís a great resume booster even if you donít get additional compensation.  If it turns into a multi month position then itís fair to request that promotion in my opinion.

deborah

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Re: Acting / Temporary Manager Compensation
« Reply #7 on: September 15, 2020, 04:11:54 AM »
If youíre temporarily the manager, part of the job is to work out how to cover for any absence, including your own absence from your engineering job. You may think about whether you need to have someone backfilling you - and whether they should be given monetary compensation. Then you need to talk to your current boss (your bossís boss) to find out what their expectations are - do they intend to have you covering for an unknown period, will someone else be temporarily seconded to the position now that it appears to be for the foreseeable future, do they agree with you about the backfill...

When I was still working, it was a rule that if someone was filling in for more than a month, they got the higher pay. This backfired regularly, since people got used to their new salary, and when the job was finally advertised and someone else got it, they suddenly had less pay than they were counting on.
« Last Edit: September 15, 2020, 04:15:02 AM by deborah »