I just happened to finish my 2 year annual review as a Software Developer and I felt I went above and beyond what was required of me; identifying and improving existing processes thereby providing value to the business and team as a whole. However, I was under the impression that like last time the manager would first tell me the salary and bonus raise I was going to get and then ask me if I felt that was ok. Unfortunately, that did not happen this time around. The salary and raise had already gone through the rounds of approval (CIO, CFO, CEO) and then I was just told the amount (which was the same as my first year).

Overall, this has left me very demotivated to continue going above and beyond for the company and makes me think I should just cruise by.

How or should I approach my manager about this? How should I express my value beyond what is required of me? I haven't gone over the actual performance review with my manager yet and he just informed me of the increase via email, is it better to bring this up then, via email, or in person?

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    @Lilienthal That answers part of this, but the issue of approaching it after the fact still remains. – Dukeling Jul 14 '17 at 8:57
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    @Dukeling Hmm, true in a way. In my mind you can still negotiate after the fact if it didn't come up before. Presenting a raise (or a job offer) as a fait accompli isn't a magic "avoid negotiating" card. The "How or should I approach my manager about this?" part of this is definitely enough to make this a separate question as it can indeed be difficult to navigate a conversation like this but perhaps this should be retitled. – Lilienthal Jul 14 '17 at 9:29

Being asked if your raise and/or bonus is OK is, in my experience, not normal. Instead, after your performance reviews are complete, you are possibly given a raise and/or bonus. Receiving a raise or bonus of any kind is not a requirement, although larger companies will often consider cost of living and adjust salaries appropriately on a somewhat regular basis.

In your case, the first thing I would do is look at your current compensation package. Do not just consider the salary, but all of the benefits as well. Attempt to determine two things. First, consider your total compensation package against similar companies in similar industries in your geographic area (there are services to help with this). Second, determine if you are happy with your compensation package. Once you have this information, don't do anything with it until your meeting with your manager.

When you meet with your manager to review your performance review, first go just that: review the performance review. Perhaps there were shortcomings in this year that you didn't recognize that prevented them from giving out what you expected. Perhaps there are business drivers that caused raises and bonuses to be smaller than in the past. Your manager should be able to help you understand the performance review and its impact on your raise and bonus. Then, take some time to digest this information.

After taking a few days to think about the performance review, whatever your manager says, and the information you learned in your research, then you can take appropriate action. If you are happy with what you find in your research and your managers explanation, you don't need to do anything - if you're already well compensated for your job with your experience in your area and industry, asking for more probably isn't going to get you anything. If you learn about things in your performance review or business drivers, you can focus on what you need to do to improve yourself or help the business improve. If you're simply unhappy with the raise and bonus and you are performing well, another option would be to seek a new job.

If, for any reason, you need to have further discussions about your performance review or compensation package, I find it best to do those face-to-face. So set up a time to meet with your manager after you've had time to think things through and do some research to understand your current market worth.

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I haven't gone over the actual performance review with my manager yet and he just informed me of the increase via email, is it better to bring this up then, via email, or in person?

Ask him to have a catch-up and speak to him in person. There are several things that may be happening here, but it is impossible for you to know what is going on until you speak with him.

The e-mail you received is the official position of your company - and it is what most likely will happen unless someone (you or your manager) does not agreed with it. At some point you will have a catch-up with your manager to discuss the fact (your performance review is going to happen soon, right?), but it does not hurt to be a little proactive.

The bad news here, IMHO, is that when this happens it is difficult to move things from the official stance, unless there is a very good reason. You should definitely state to your manager that you are demotivated, explain your major accomplishments and defend your position - that is, why do you think you deserve a bigger raise (or even a promotion).

From that point, it all depends on your manager and the flexibility he has in the budget for the team. If it goes well and your performance is solid, they should give you a raise. If it doesn't, then the only thing that you can do is just to accept the small raise and, maybe, start exploring the market for better paying opportunities in your area.

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  • Note that "raise" usually means a bit more money for the same job. The alternative for making more money is getting a promotion. Which might just be a change in your job title. – gnasher729 Jul 14 '17 at 8:25

I think its kinda late at this point and would be perceived somewhat offensive to decline a good will gesture(a raise given on their own). If I were you I would just make certain that whenever its time for an evaluation round, I would schedule a meeting with my manager, plead my case and why I deserve a raise, then ask for a specific amount. Either I receive that or not, I ll know I ve done all I could for it and I ll consider my options if the result is something Im unhappy with.

Also, keep in mind that to escalate to a bigger pay level sometimes changing jobs is needed, otherwise people will go off your initial base wage for any future purposes(raises/bonus etc).

p.s. Goes without saying that anything non-trivial should be communicated face to face.

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  • It's worth noting that what you consider a good will gesture is most probably NOT. Also, companies don't get "offended", while people like the OP might get offended by putting a huge effort and get a not-so-huge retribution. I think it's perfectly fair for an individual to ask for what he considers a reasonable retribution of his work, in exchange of his own good will to do better work. – Laurent S. Jul 14 '17 at 13:23
  • @LaurentS. Ofcourse its perfectly fine to ask for anything OP think they earned. The timing is whats wrong here. – Leon Jul 14 '17 at 13:47

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