About a year ago, I started asking for more responsibility with the caveat that I wanted to be promoted within my department. I was verbally promised more pay and I have already started managing people and taking on more responsibility after the company fired my manager. I have taken on all of my manager's responsibilities, plus my current projects plus some additional projects/initiatives my boss has asked me to own. We recently went through a reorganization and our new "Director" has mandated no pay increases or adds to FTE for the upcoming year, which means no pay increase or title change for me. My peers have the same level of responsibility and all make more money than I do with higher officer titles.

My boss has also asked me on multiple occasions to draft a plan for my "New team" with org charts, responsibilities and detailed job descriptions. I have provided this plan on multiple occasions with minimal response.

As a note, I have received "excellent" reviews each year and have been with the company for almost 10 years. I have never went to HR before but I feel like I was made promises that our new director and my current manager are not willing to fulfill.

What should I do?

  • Have you exposed this situation to your new Director, explaining him that you are doing things outside your responsibility? – DarkCygnus Sep 18 '17 at 4:21
  • How is the organization doing? Pay freezes / hire freezes are put in when the organization is not doing well. Is it just in your department or across the company? – Rishi Goel Sep 18 '17 at 4:23
  • Also welcome to The Workplace :) I recommend you rephrase your question, as "what should I do" is quite broad and asking for us to make a choice for you (which is off topic here). Can you narrow down your problem to a specific goal or question we can help you with? Maybe something on the line of "how to effectively and politely convey this to my boss" or "what other things can I do to handle this situation", so it is not so broad and you get better answer instead of speculations. – DarkCygnus Sep 18 '17 at 4:26
  • Final CV cast. While there's a distinct element to this question in you having already taken on a lot of new responsibility, it doesn't actually change what you can do about it and all you can really do is argue for a raise using the information in the linked question. The proper way to approach a move like this is to say "I'd love to take this one, but we'd need to discuss salary." SInce you've already started the job you have basically no leverage that you'd need with sub-average employers who don't realise the value of paying people adequately. – Lilienthal Sep 18 '17 at 8:38

Depends on why the pay freeze and hiring freeze has been put in place. Based on my experience with such situation, if a freeze has been put, there is nothing which can change the status quo, including going to HR. On top of it, the promise was verbal, you have nothing in writing. So its basically not enforceable. Going to HR may worsen your situation in this case.

My suggestion to you would be to discuss your situation with your boss and director, tell them your expectations at the same time, keep doing a good job and have some patience. There could be valid reasons for a pay freeze/ job freeze which you are not aware of. You need to assess if this is temporary and likely to lift next year or not. A frank discussion with your boss may help.

You could try and negotiate a grade and title change without salary change. While this may not make a lot of sense at first, each grade has a specific salary range. With change in grade, you will be at lower end of the salary range of the grade. Whenever pay freeze is lifted, you are likely to get a fat pay rise.

If you are willing to stick to the organization for some time, chances are organization will correct the anomaly in your pay and grade ( provided you are a good performer, and you smartly document this). It may not be able to meet it immediately due to business environment. Please discuss and document the decision this time. This way, if the director changes again, or you boss is changed, you would have proof. A simple way of documenting this could be to have a formal meeting with your director and then publish the minutes of meeting. Another way could be to bring it in your performance appraisal and then document the notes in a email to your boss.

If your boss/ director promises to resolve the situation asap, ask if they will be willing to put HR in loop of this , so that you don't loose out next year.

Lastly, if you feel that the organization is not going to promote you no matter what, or if you don't want to wait that long, its best to look out for a higher grade outside. Since you are already playing the role, it should not be too difficult to convince the new employer that you are a fit for the higher role. Try and assess if the organization is growing or not. If its not growing/ there are management challenges or any other signs that the situation is not temporary, its best to move outside and have a career with some other organization.

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