Is Your Employer Squeezing You Unfairly?
The global recession has caused more than half of Americans to lose their jobs, take a pay cut or start a temporary job due to the lack of full-time jobs in the market. The job market, while better than what it was two years ago, is still not that great.
Some employers are using this for holding back pay hikes and promotions, getting extra work done, and reducing or entirely chopping off fringe benefits, even if they have regained a healthy financial position.
Companies have learnt that they can get the more of their work done with fewer employees, and are not likely to go back on that. Some industry analysts believe that many corporations are raking in loads of money, but are not sharing it with their employees. This may not necessarily because of greed, but the worry that the economic recovery may not last long.
If you feel that your company has taken a similar stand, and is taking undue advantage of you, here are some assertive steps you can take to remedy the situation:
Don’t believe everything you hear or read.
The rumor mills are working overtime and people don’t tend to validate the information they hear and repeat. In many cases, lack of communication from top management sparks off rumors. It is vital that you try to learn the facts behind anything you hear. For instance, one good financial quarter for the company does not amount to full recovery, and the company may still be in heavy financial debts.
When in doubt, ask HR.
If you feel that your company’s financial and other policies seem strange, get in touch with the HR for clarification. The HR may not always know the answer themselves, but they generally do take such questions to the higher management. If a majority of employees start approaching HR with their queries, it might force the management to improve their method of communicating with employees, and be more forthcoming about their financial and other policies.
Do your own fact-finding.
You do need to indulge in your own snooping exercise to find facts. A great place to gather information is from people who have recently quit the company. Although you may not want to take everything they say at face value, you can get some valuable information from them. Once you have spoken with various such sources and cross verified your notes, you will be able to determine the facts.
Ask, don’t demand.
If you feel that your company is unjustly squeezing you, speak with your immediate supervisor and ask for a pay hike, more perks, lesser workload, a promotion, etc. However, be careful not to demand in these situations. Pay attention to the words you use – be assertive but not aggressive. Also, be focused on facts, and keep emotions and personal opinions out of such conversations.
Look for other options.
Some companies have opened their doors for new recruitments. Generally, even if the company is paying less than normal wages to its existing employees, they may not do the same with new hires. On your part, carry out a thorough market research regarding salary trends in your industry. If you feel that your company is paying your lower than the market average, it’s time to look for options.
Of course, ensure that you have a confirmed job at your new company before quitting your current one. You certainly do not want to be left jobless while the economy is slow. At the end of the day, it is up to you to decide if it is worth staying with an employer you feel is masking the economic slowdown to take undue advantage of you, or is it advisable to move to an unknown place in these times of economic uncertainty.