I've worked at a company for more than 7 years and have achieved all stated goals. A bit less than 2 years ago I got promoted (higher salary and title). Now I am among the top paid engineers in the department. The promotion was partly due to acquired experience (second MSc) and, to a lesser extent, as compensation for the offer from another company that I turned down more than 4 years ago. I was told by my boss that in the future an increase in the salary is possible, if work would be well done.
In the last two months, I managed to automate a fair portion of my workload (numerical simulations): I wrote the automation script from scratch, which is not a task typically expected of me. Consequently, my productivity increased by 30-40% and can be scaled to other coworkers. This improvement appears to be the 2nd best or even the best thing I have done for the company up to date.
How should I benefit from that?
I have been thinking through several scenarios. Two options stood out:
- tell my bosses and hopefully get a raise
- don't tell anyone and use this new "additional" time to learn and work on the things that are more interesting to me.
For option 1, I was thinking of having a meeting with my superior and his boss at the same time. I would present to them the improvement in the form of increased productivity (workload reduced from 4-6 hours to 15 minutes), which would have a very positive influence on two of the most important KPIs our managers follow. I would probably ask for 20% increase in my salary at this point. The downside of this option might be that they refuse to give me a raise, but are at the same time aware of my increased capacity (and the script). They might expect higher output from me for the same salary.
If I go with this option, how should I approach this to minimize the risk of a negative (to me) outcome?
For option 2, I might keep the advantage to myself and use this "additional" time to learn new stuff and work on the things that are more interesting to me (all inside the company's scope of work). The biggest downside of this option is that I do not get paid for this "brilliant" thing that saves the company time and money.
We usually get a raise for continuous small improvements that accumulate over time. But I'm wondering what should happen when a substantial improvement is made abruptly (e.g. 40% capacity increase all at once) which will bring benefits to the company (improved KPIs) forever. Should I just wait for superiors to discover this improvement on their own?
Update (jan 2020): I decided to talk to my superior and explain the situation. I told him that it took me a lot of preparation (learning programming language for more than 1 year, finding right methods to do certain things, programming at home, ...). He was speechless. The only thing he said was: "That's it." He gave me his approval to automate the process throughout the year. I mentioned, that if everything works fine, this merits for something more than a bonus. Let's see how this ends up.