29 July 2014

Praise and Pay Days

How closely are your performance and your pay linked? In an industry as closely monitored and as highly productive as mining, there is a procedure, a box, a structure, a diagram, an ikea-esk set of instructions and a road map for pretty much everything. Including the proper way to use the dunny. 

If you want to see the epitome of organisation and structure, go and visit with your local HR/ Payroll office. You'll see a piece of paper or a number on a screen that looks extraordinarily large. That's not the weekly pay. That's just the number of people being paid this week. And the poor frazzled faces staring back at you are trying to make sure that each of those large number of individuals is happy with their pay.

A pretty impossible task and certainly one that can keep you on your toes. 

And that is where all of those road maps and sets of intructions really come into play. 

Here's a little insight on 5 things that determine how well you are paid for your day's work:

  1. Your job title. The obvious one first. Most companie's will have a salary range for each job and are reluctanct to stray outside of it.
  2. Your experience. In a perfect world you would get a pay rise for every year you clock up in a particular skill. Reality isn't quite that kind, but you can expect a gradual increase over time.
  3. Feedback from your manager. Praise from the boss can be beneficial for the back pocket as well as the ego.
  4. Skill shortage. This can be a major contributing factor to your bottom line. If you want to make a lifetime's income in a day, become the only after hours plumber in a city after a chilli festival. 
  5. What you ask for. Some say demand. I'm inclined to say demands often meet more resistance than requests. The simple act of asking for what you deserve is often effective.

When crying poor and screaming for a pay rise, consider this carefully. Have you earned it? Well and truly, bleeding knuckles, value adding, production increasing earned it. If yes, talk to your manager about it. If not, get back in your box.

How do you approach the sensitive subject of a pay rise? I'd start with a graph. I love graphs. Don't just show that you are a hard worker, show that you add value, save money, make the workplace safer. Something that makes a tangible, measurable and specific difference to your workplace.

 Are your performance and your pay as closely linked as you'd like?

Side note: When the day to day of pay goes wrong.

Whenever I hear of someone complaining that they haven't been paid correctly, that they should have more leave, that their payslip isn't printed in gold leaf, I try to gently remind them of some simple facts. You are a small cog in a large machine. Let them know there's a problem by sending them a polite email will get you a lot further than a screaming phone call.