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My current company has yearly post-appraisal increments. My performance was rated highly by both my manager and my client (I got a average of 9.5 / 10). But somewhere in the upper management part of the whole process (which is invisible to me), it was reduced to the lowest possible.

This led to my increment being very low (even below inflation). I scheduled a meeting with HR today, but I've been told (by multiple people) that I shouldn't be hopeful as this is standard in the company.

As such I am quite unhappy and feel more offended than anything. I really don't want to change jobs as this one is quite close to my home, but I feel like my self-respect would be lost.

Any suggestions on how to convince management?

Update: I followed up with the HR who redirected me to my RM stating that they have no power over this. My RM then clarified that my pay wasn't increased as there is some sort of normalization taking place. My salary was higher than most at my experience level. The thing to note is that I wasn't made aware of this when I took the offer. Another thing to note is that I came from a really senior position as compared to the others working in my company. An example being that we recently hired a guy with 8 years of experience who was working as my assistant (during his 5th year) while I had about 1 year of experience. Overall, I am better than my experience dictates and I have always shown it in my work.

I am starting to wonder if I joined a company which expect below mediocre work and doesn't have the ability to accommodate me. On a side note, I've started slacking off from work nowadays. I just post work from home and become a ghost. I know this is unethical, but the low rating (hence no bonus) and increment basically are costing me something on the lines of 2 months worth of salary.

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Any suggestions on how to convince management?

If you're not happy with the increment you received, you need to ensure your disagreement is communicated properly. You did the correct thing to arrange a meeting with the HR, you may also like to invite your superior in that meeting and present the following points:

  • The contributions you made
  • The value additions which you delivered
  • You expectation of the revised salary based on the value delivered.

Remember one thing, you can ask for whatever you see fit, however, whether the organization will be willing to agree to that amount or not, depends on the organization. If the offered amount is much below your expectation, and the overall benefits (salary + other perks) is not to your satisfaction, you need to look for opportunities elsewhere.

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I really don't want to change jobs as this one is quite close to my home

Does the company know that you don't want to change jobs? If yes, then there is not much you can expect in terms of positive outcomes. Your better ratings were already hushed under the carpet. Negotiations require that you have something that the other party very much desires, and that you have the ability to walk away if the terms do not match your expectation. But you don’t seem to be in a good position for either of those.

but I feel like my self-respect would be lost.

I would suggest not to peg your self respect to the increments you do or do not receive, now and in future. It is quite common for companies to not match employee expectations. In the grand scheme of things, the company diverts money to what the company see to be a good investment.

Any suggestions on how to convince management?

Talk to your manager about the difference between your expectation and the given increment. If convincing the manager doesn’t work, go one level higher to your skip level manager, and schedule a meeting with them, discussing your differences.

In my opinion, HR is not the best person to go to here, you need your manager to lobby for you. At the very least, ensure that the manager is on the same page with you about reaching out to HR. Some managers may even feel resentful that you skipped them over by going to HR directly.

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  • Well, Ive been vocal about the ease of travel to this office. Yes, management is aware tat I don't wanna switch. But I work in an IT park which basically means there are about 40 companies in a 5km radius. – Bhoot Jan 6 at 5:00
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Can you clarify: You got a very good performance rating (9.5 out of 10) and that rating was changed by upper management? By someone who has no clue what your performance is?

In that case that's quite despicable and dishonest. It is Ok (not nice for you but Ok) if upper management says "your performance was excellent, but we don't have the money or we don't have the intention to give you a good raise". Not good for you, but honest. But dropping your performance rating and saying "you get a raise that is fair for your low performance rating", that is dishonest and unacceptable.

If that was the case, you have two openings: You can go to HR and complain about the change of your rating, which is an entirely justified complaint. You have a right to know on which basis your performance was rated lowly. And if as it seems the reason is "we rated your performance lowly by pulling numbers out of our behind, so that we could give you a lower raise", that is just unacceptable.

The second opening is that you should be able to give a convincing case that you will be looking for a job elsewhere. "The pay isn't high enough", well everyone will say that. But "I worked my ass off, I got an excellent performance rating, and someone who has no clue what I'm doing changed it, so I feel not appreciated, not treated fairly, and generally losing respect for the company", that's a very good reason.

There are lots of people who will be quietly doing an excellent job year after year - until something happens that really pisses them off, and then they instantly lose motivation (we had a few questions like that here - "We pissed off an excellent employee and he stopped being excellent") or just go elsewhere.

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  • On talking with my manager, he told me that my salary was normalized with the other workers. To do this they reduced my rating. It's a dick move and my manager agreed to that at least. The problem is that while he is at least projecting that he is looking into it, everything is an empty promise as I'm being kept out of the loop. – Bhoot Jan 6 at 5:03
  • @Bhoot I would push this very, very hard. I would make it absolutely clear that it's my job to get my work done and it's the company's job to rate my performance accurately and honestly. If they don't do their part of the deal properly, they have no right to expect me to do mine properly. Period. This is completely separate from any issue of salary negotiation and is an issue of an unacceptable lack of basic honesty and accuracy in dealing with other people. – David Schwartz Jan 6 at 5:21
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This isn't school where a 9.5 out of 10 is a grade of "A". Grades cost nothing, this is the real world. Your pay and increases have little to do with your personal performance. It has much more to do with their budget, the current company's financial health, and the market value of your skills. Don't expect to get the increase you want, and even if they give it to you cause you caught them off-guard they will be looking to replace you. All the sudden you will be introduced to a new employee who you will mentor and shadow what you do. Then you will be replaced. Seriously consider your actions here.

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