Should you take on extra responsibilities at work so you can get a higher salary or a promotion?
A new study revealed that 79 per cent of Australian employers have provided their employees with extra responsibilities so they could keep their businesses operating effectively.
The study, which was conducted by independent specialised recruiter Robert Half, found that although 34 per cent of these businesses gave a financial incentive to employees, 45 per cent of employers did not.
About one in four (40 per cent) said they are putting their employees on a trial in a new role or assessing their performance in finishing the extra responsibilities before offering them a bonus or pay rise, which suggests that employers are looking to promote from within.
Meanwhile, about 21 per cent of employers have kept the status quo by not providing extra responsibilities to their employees in the past year.
When asked about the reasons for not providing financial incentives to employees, employers said the extra responsibilities were temporary (44 per cent), there was a lack of budget (34 per cent), and the extra responsibilities were not part of an official promotion (31 per cent).
“While it is common for extra responsibilities to go hand in hand with extra pay or benefits, it is also not uncommon for employers to instate a probationary period during which they assess an employee’s suitability for a role before confirming a permanent salary increase for new responsibilities,” said Nicole Gorton, Director at Robert Half.
“This is especially true at a time when there's a magnifying glass on cost management within businesses,” she said.
Gorton said looking at the opportunity and the big picture is key for employees. In fact, employees can view the extra responsibilities as a sign that their employer recognises their value as an employee in the organisation.
Additionally, employees can view temporary extra responsibilities to gain experience in their field and increase their skills, both of which add to their career development and market value.
For Gorton, if employers are not able to increase compensation for employees who take on extra work, they need to be transparent as to why a pay rise isn’t on the horizon and when pay will be reviewed.
“Hinged on clear communication, transparency will create clarity and understanding, so employees know where they stand,” Gorton said.
Gorton explained that if a talented employee resigns because they feel they are not being sufficiently compensated, it will likely cost more to the business long term than if the company had rewarded them accordingly for the extra responsibilities they were doing.
“Managers need to be aware of any changes in responsibilities and or increased staff workload, and ensure they are paid a fair salary, in line or above market rates,” Gorton concluded.