Author Topic: Newly promoted - employees make more than me. How to tackle with my supervisor?  (Read 3626 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.

ItsALongStory

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Just wanted to provide an update that I did get the promo in the end and it came with a 12% pay raise. Looks like (so far) it has paid off to be patient. :)

brute

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Just wanted to provide an update that I did get the promo in the end and it came with a 12% pay raise. Looks like (so far) it has paid off to be patient. :)

Congrats!

mistymoney

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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.

It's also very common that women and people of color get lower salaries too.

The company - and the managers to some extent - have more information than individual employees and should safeguard equity in their staff.

experience and tenure do come with some justifiable salary increases, but elsewise management should be guarding against this.

I agree that manager sometimes, justifiably, make less than those they manage, but that is a relatively rare circumstance where the people you are managing have skill set that you do not, so while you oversee there work they are the ones with the creativity and skills to develop things you can't.

OP - your company sucks. This is a typical case where they company will take whatever professional growth you are capable of and profit form it without rewarding you.

I'd broach it with you manager today. You don't have to reveal that you compared with other just yet but you can have a conversation on your new role, new responsibilities, how you stepped up and what you are now contributing to the company (that is > what you did pre-promotion). You can ask about the timeline for an increase, what you need to demonstrate to get that increase, and just have the conversation very positive and focused on your desire to do well in the role and also for a good increase.

If they don't deliver, hit the job search hard on your 1-year mark int he promotion.

mistymoney

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oops! didn't see this was an old thread!

mistymoney

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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 wanted to add on to this, having been in a similar situation and telling about the long term impact of this.

So - I was making 20-25% less, and absolutely kicking butt in the role. I got rave reviews with 5-6% raises and bonuses each year. bonuses were about another 4-6%. One male counterpart was slumming it, barely scratching by, not meeting deadlines, etc. getting only the base 2-3% col increases.

I did the math once on how long my stellar performance would take to catch up to his salary and I was stunned. It was like 10-15 years.

I left for a 30% increase.

Chrissy

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@mistymoney  PLEASE post that in the Epic FU stories thread! That's amazing!!!

mistymoney

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@mistymoney  PLEASE post that in the Epic FU stories thread! That's amazing!!!

Thanks! But it wasn't too much of an FU. I just started a job search, and then resigned. This was about 20 years ago, and I wasn't confident enough to push things and discussing salary was listed as a no in the employee handbook, so I never mentioned that I knew how underpaid I was.

I just left.

use2betrix

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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 used to have a (minority) female that worked for me with less qualifications, less experience, and obviously less responsibility. Sheís a good friend, but not on the top of my list of people to work for me. I recently started a new job and didnít hire her even though I know I could have.

She made a pretty decent chunk more than me.

I chalked it up to her having a better negotiation position when she was hired. Maybe they were more desperate? Iíve known when employers have been desperate in the past when Iíve been interviewing, and Iíve exploited it countless, countless times for more money.

Google did a wage study recently and found that their men were underpaid compared to the women:

https://www.npr.org/2019/03/05/700288695/google-pay-study-finds-its-underpaying-men-for-some-jobs

Iím 31 and currently a manager. Weíre looking at bringing a very skilled, experienced guy in his 60ís that would work under me. He asked for about 10% more than I make. While I am again, not opposed to having an employee make more than me, I made it very clear to my boss that this gentleman better run circles around myself and my other two employees.

mistymoney

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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 used to have a (minority) female that worked for me with less qualifications, less experience, and obviously less responsibility. Sheís a good friend, but not on the top of my list of people to work for me. I recently started a new job and didnít hire her even though I know I could have.

She made a pretty decent chunk more than me.

I chalked it up to her having a better negotiation position when she was hired. Maybe they were more desperate? Iíve known when employers have been desperate in the past when Iíve been interviewing, and Iíve exploited it countless, countless times for more money.

Google did a wage study recently and found that their men were underpaid compared to the women:

https://www.npr.org/2019/03/05/700288695/google-pay-study-finds-its-underpaying-men-for-some-jobs

Iím 31 and currently a manager. Weíre looking at bringing a very skilled, experienced guy in his 60ís that would work under me. He asked for about 10% more than I make. While I am again, not opposed to having an employee make more than me, I made it very clear to my boss that this gentleman better run circles around myself and my other two employees.


So - I take it you are going to meet his ask here?

Curious on how you would proceed if he doesn't run those circles? If at the 90 day review, and then perhaps again at the 1 year mark, he is totally adequate, or even pretty good - what can you do?

Of course if he was inadequate, you could terminate during the probationary period, but if he is not inadequate, but far from stellar - how do you go forward?

It would be nice if the company would salary adjust the rest of the group - but frankly - I've never seen that happen. What I've seen in many places is that salary inequities just perpetuate themselves into the future.

And as I noted - even with very different performance reviews - it can take decades to correct these without deliberately addressing them as the inequities that they are.

ItsALongStory

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A company is focused on paying their staff enough to stay, not necessarily market rate. This sort of encourages job hopping for some but I truly feel that most people want to be comfortable and a 10-20% pay raise isn't sufficient as a motivation to move companies and perhaps location as well.

Sent from my Pixel 2 XL using Tapatalk


use2betrix

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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 used to have a (minority) female that worked for me with less qualifications, less experience, and obviously less responsibility. Sheís a good friend, but not on the top of my list of people to work for me. I recently started a new job and didnít hire her even though I know I could have.

She made a pretty decent chunk more than me.

I chalked it up to her having a better negotiation position when she was hired. Maybe they were more desperate? Iíve known when employers have been desperate in the past when Iíve been interviewing, and Iíve exploited it countless, countless times for more money.

Google did a wage study recently and found that their men were underpaid compared to the women:

https://www.npr.org/2019/03/05/700288695/google-pay-study-finds-its-underpaying-men-for-some-jobs

Iím 31 and currently a manager. Weíre looking at bringing a very skilled, experienced guy in his 60ís that would work under me. He asked for about 10% more than I make. While I am again, not opposed to having an employee make more than me, I made it very clear to my boss that this gentleman better run circles around myself and my other two employees.


So - I take it you are going to meet his ask here?

Curious on how you would proceed if he doesn't run those circles? If at the 90 day review, and then perhaps again at the 1 year mark, he is totally adequate, or even pretty good - what can you do?

Of course if he was inadequate, you could terminate during the probationary period, but if he is not inadequate, but far from stellar - how do you go forward?

It would be nice if the company would salary adjust the rest of the group - but frankly - I've never seen that happen. What I've seen in many places is that salary inequities just perpetuate themselves into the future.

And as I noted - even with very different performance reviews - it can take decades to correct these without deliberately addressing them as the inequities that they are.

While myself and my direct boss donít have an issue with his ask, our project managers ultimately have to approve and dictate wages of the staff (contractors, as my group is). Both of my employees are currently paid the same amount (which is more than when I was hired one year ago). I have since received a raise (I didnít have to ask for) that is now about 12% more than their rate. Our project managers do not have interest in bringing someone on at a higher wage than my other two employees, which I am fine with.

In regards to the other comments, should we bring him on at a higher rate and he doesnít perform, I would likely let him go. If he was the same as my other guys I could justify it, but honestly, I somewhat doubt he would be. We have a very strong team. He has more knowledge, but our work ethic and attention to detail is second to none.

In the event he underperformed, but not enough to fire, then thatís a mistake on our managements side for overestimating the value he would add. I donít think his pay would be docked, but at the same time, it doesnít automatically mean that you bring up the rest of the departments pay to make it even. Not even close. He simply (would have) negotiated a better rate than the other personnel did during the hiring phase. Nature of the beast. Iíve done the same thing with employers in the past.

As an example, on a project last year I had as many as 22 direct reports. I interviewed one gentleman with around 30 years experience who was one of the strongest interviewers I have ever interviewed. I was absolutely ecstatic to get him on board. He got to site, and was a nightmare. I let him go after about a month.


Slow&Steady

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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 wanted to add on to this, having been in a similar situation and telling about the long term impact of this.

So - I was making 20-25% less, and absolutely kicking butt in the role. I got rave reviews with 5-6% raises and bonuses each year. bonuses were about another 4-6%. One male counterpart was slumming it, barely scratching by, not meeting deadlines, etc. getting only the base 2-3% col increases.

I did the math once on how long my stellar performance would take to catch up to his salary and I was stunned. It was like 10-15 years.

I left for a 30% increase.

I have a similar story, myself (female) and a coworker (male) were the same age with the exact same years of experience and same job title.  I ran a project that he participated in, myself or another coworker had to fix everything he touched, if he submitted anything at all.  When I was reviewing the project costs and invoices to go to the client I discovered that this coworker that I had been cleaning up messes for years (on other projects) made 15% more than I did. 

I ended up leaving and 3 years later I am at a base pay that is almost double what it was then.  I didn't go out with a bang or anything though so no FU story, just sent out resumes and accepted an offer.

mm1970

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Quote
As an example, on a project last year I had as many as 22 direct reports. I interviewed one gentleman with around 30 years experience who was one of the strongest interviewers I have ever interviewed. I was absolutely ecstatic to get him on board. He got to site, and was a nightmare. I let him go after about a month.

I can relate.  We had a stretch where we were hiring a bunch of people.  I found that there as a pretty large cohort of people of that age (which I guess now is pretty close to my age) -people in their 50s and 60s - who interview very well.

They've been around the block.
They know the lingo.
They sound great.
They cannot perform.  Or at least, not here.

I can pick out 5-6 people right off the bat without even trying. 
And we didn't like to fire people.
Once the first VP (who was new here), fired the first guy, the other managers woke up and said "hey, we can do that??"

The rest were let go too, over time (they weren't all here at the same time).