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At the company I am currently working we are expected to have a yearly salary review. In order to schedule a meeting with my manager to discuss this I have sent several emails/chats. He reads all of them and replies with "sure, do you mind talking about it next Monday?" or "right now I´m busy, is it ok for you to do it tomorrow?" answers. But when the day arrives he always "forgets" about it or throws an excuse such as "I gotta pick up my kid from school right now" and moves the date to another day.

I have suffered this same behavior when dealing with other stuff, such as asking him to approve my vacations, and I truly believe he is always busy doing management work, but what really pisses me off is that reviewing my salary should be one of that management work although is never in his schedule.

Therefore my question is, how should I approach this situation so I can have my yearly salary review meeting without pushing too hard? I believe that pushing too hard can be considered rude and I am scared that this can backfire on me in the expected meeting.

Note: Although the "picking up his kid from school" may look like a lie, I believe that is true since he sometimes shows up in meetings/calls with his kid, and a couple of years ago he had paternity leave.

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    Do you schedule a meeting in whatever system tracks those types of things? It sounds like you should polish your resume. A great way to get a raise, and review your salary, is by accepting a new offer at a differnt company.
    – Donald
    Feb 10, 2023 at 13:26
  • @donald No I don't, all I have is verbal agreements to talk about it, several Team's chats and a couple of emails Feb 10, 2023 at 14:01
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    @brhans: Note that changing assignments inside the same company should be enough to achieve that, unless the problem is unusually widespread. Also note that appreciation may not be a factor; never assume malice when incompetence is an adequate explanation.
    – keshlam
    Feb 10, 2023 at 15:14
  • Do you have regular 1:1s with this person? Feb 10, 2023 at 15:39
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    HR is never your friend, and neither is your manager. When you show your manager a new job listing, they might offer an immediate salary meeting. Other posts on here suggest moving on since your company has shown its true character at this point.
    – Solar Mike
    Feb 10, 2023 at 16:13

3 Answers 3

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You need to be more assertive in how you request your salary review. If your manager agrees to a Monday or "tomorrow" you need to follow up with a specific time. Force your manager to commit to a specific time on a specific date. Once this has been done, you send an official meeting invitation for that time/date. If you are both working in person, I would walk into their office at the time of the meeting and let them know you are there for the salary review.

If your manager is still unable or unwilling to meet with you for your salary review, I would reach out to HR but don't throw your manager under the bus. Kindly and innocently ask HR "when is my yearly salary review? What is the process for setting this up?" and see what they say.

If you continue to struggle with this then it may be time to start looking for a new company to work for. I have worked with managers like this that appear to be too busy or to pre-occupied with other things to effectively manage and I know how frustrating it can be. If you want to commit to working for someone like this, you need to be more forceful with your requests otherwise your best bet is to look for somewhere else to work where hopefully your manager can actually perform their duties.

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    Or a new manager in the same company, which is a lot less hassle for everyone.
    – keshlam
    Feb 10, 2023 at 15:15
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    unless you want to just get fired, don't escalate to HR. HR works for management.
    – Tiger Guy
    Feb 10, 2023 at 15:19
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    @TigerGuy HR may work for the company, but doesn't work for a particular manager. If it's not in the company's interests to have your manager brushing off your salary review requests they won't let him get away with it. Feb 10, 2023 at 16:50
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    @TigerGuy If the expectation at the company is a yearly salary review and the manager is not facilitating it, HR is the only recourse other than leaving the company. This is assuming that yearly salary review is written into OP's contract and/or employee handbook.
    – sf02
    Feb 10, 2023 at 20:32
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Some options to consider:

1: If he is too busy during work hours - suggest that you have the meeting over dinner at a Bar or similar.

Generally I take the line that work should be done on work time, however sometimes a little flexibility can work in your favor - afterall, in theory the reason you want the review is because you are expecting a pay rise, so spending an hour having lunch/dinner outside of work hours just to lock in that time may be worth it.

2: Ask him what you can do to help clear his schedule so that he can have that time: "Hey Boss, I know you are super swamped right now - and I need to have my yearly review meeting - is there anything I can take off your plate so we can nail down this time?"

3: (somewhat high risk) - if he's really busy, you could always send him an email with the following:

  • Outline the things this year that you've kicked ass and taken names with
  • Outline additional work/responsibilities you've undertaken
  • Outline the things that you think you need to improve for next year
  • Give him a number that you'd like.

E.g.

"Hi Boss,

This year I successfully completed project Foo ahead of schedule, which saved us and our clients tens of thousands of Dollars. I've also start to assist Bob to get him certified. As a result of project Bar, I'm looking at getting my master certification next year, I've already started studying.

With that in mind, for my yearly review I'd like an addition 15% - so $15,000 going from $100,000 to $115,000"

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    Option #1 seems just off limits for such a professional matter. Not only inappropriate, but you really expect someone like this manager, always "too busy" to even respect an meeting/day/time multiple times to find time for you?!
    – OldPadawan
    Feb 10, 2023 at 19:32
  • Maybe it's an NZ thing - but I've done several Yearly reviews at a Restaurant or Pub. People maybe busy, but people gotta eat. So combine the two. Feb 10, 2023 at 19:39
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    @TheDemonLord Were you the reviewer or the reviewee? And who was paying? OP would be expected to be paying since they are the one who wants to do business out of office hours but obviously this doesn't make sense since the manager should have been talking care of it during business hours. So it doesn't make sense either way, which means it doesn't make sense.
    – DKNguyen
    Feb 12, 2023 at 23:00
  • @DKNguyen - I've done both, but more often the Reviewee - general etiquette is the person who earns more pays the bill (e.g. the Manager). In this situation, it's not OP wants to take it outside of business hours per-se, it's that the Manager hasn't found time during business hours to do it. Those are two very different propositions. Feb 12, 2023 at 23:12
  • @TheDemonLord I wouldn't hold your breath expecting the manager to propose to take it outside of business hours. Are you implying there were cases where you suggested taking it to dinner as the reviewee? Because without that you can't really say it was the higher pay that dictated who was paying and not who did the inviting.
    – DKNguyen
    Feb 12, 2023 at 23:18
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Say: "Have you given up on having that salary review conversation?"

If "yes": "then it's not a problem for you if I schedule a meeting with [manager's manager]?"

If "no": "I'll put something in our calendar for next week." Then do it.

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  • Downvoters: please comment. This advice is coming from techniques taught by a former FBI hostage negotiator. I think you might be surprised at the effectiveness. What exactly do you see as a problem, here?
    – CodeSeeker
    Feb 11, 2023 at 22:22
  • Edit proposed; I think the first sentence was coming across as ruder than you intended and drawing the downvotes.
    – keshlam
    Feb 13, 2023 at 8:59
  • @keshlam Thank you
    – CodeSeeker
    Feb 13, 2023 at 19:50
  • Better; tnx. I'd phrase it a bit less adversarialy, but it's a legitimate approach to reminding a superior that this is part of their job responsibilities and they can't legitimately be too busy to schedule it.
    – keshlam
    Feb 14, 2023 at 4:44
  • The manager putting it off over and over is already adversarial. This technique is called an "accusation audit" and is from the Black Swan group. While it sounds bad, and should be used after other techniques, it absolutely puts a fine point on what the person is doing. Pretending that the other person is reasonable (when that is not the case) is actually a quite sound strategy, but it requires confidence and acting with higher status than some people can pull off.
    – CodeSeeker
    Feb 15, 2023 at 21:32

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