Ask Matt: More work, but no pay increase

  • Article by: Matt Krumrie
  • Star Tribune Sales and Marketing
  • July 26, 2010 - 11:50 AM

Dear Matt: I've been asked to pick up more and more work - people have left our department but they haven't rehired. I am now doing double the work, and doing it well, but I was notified there will be no raises this year. How can a company possibly demand more of its employees while cutting staff (and save money on their salaries), and not give the ones left behind any raise or bonus?

Matt: First, take a deep breath and be thankful you have a job. I know that's not what you want to hear but the reality is many people - and companies - have struggled greatly in recent years. If you have a job and a steady paycheck, be thankful.

Norma Beasant, a workforce planning analyst at HealthPartners, agrees. "The reality is we are in an economic recession and thousands of companies throughout the United States are trying to reduce costs to stay in business and many have not survived," says Beasant.

When people leave or are laid off, someone has to pick up the load and, unfortunately, this creates a huge burden for employees who are perhaps already overworked, adds Beasant. Costs to employers have increased and that is where the money is going - to pay for internal and operational expenses.

Still, I know it's frustrating to work so hard and not reap any benefits. Be sure to document the extra work and the results of this work. Keep track of the additional successes you have helped the department or company achieve. Use this when it comes time for a performance review. Be ready to show how valuable you have become and that will help your case when the company can start rewarding employees.

If this continues and there is no sign of recognition, increase in pay or a bonus, then it could be time to start looking for a new job. By documenting the information as suggested above, you can use that as proof of accomplishments and successes in your next job search. So at some point some employer will realize the talent and potential you bring to a company.

Until then though, try your best to work through the frustration. "I realize employees do not have a lot of choices today in terms of available jobs, but I strongly suggest they do what they can with the resources offered to them," says Beasant. "It's our duty to work to the best of our abilities for the paychecks we are receiving."

Do you have an employment related or job search question for Matt? E-mail him today at

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