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Salary hike at all-time low? Here#39;s what you can do

February 22
10:57 2020

A slew of salary hike surveys painted a gloomy picture of how compensation changes will pan out in 2020. The underlying message is clear: Only the crème de la crème will be eligible for any double-digit hike. But the story is not all that grim.

One needs to remember that these are sample surveys, where 5,000-10,000 people are chosen from across the country during a four to six week period and asked a set of questions. Their responses would depend on the situation of their particular organisation at that particular point.

Average pay hike numbers usually part of these surveys are only a partial reflection of what could actually play out. You could be among the top performers and end up with a 20 percent hike or be rewarded a promotion.

And if you’re not? There are a series of steps that could help professionals get an edge over their colleagues.

Firstly, no shortcuts please. If your yearly target is to get a certain number of clients, the method used to attain that figure may be to cut corners. But, even if all other colleagues indulge in such behaviour, steer clear.

The year 2020 is a tough one and getting the numbers would be a task. But the key here to not neglect corporate governance rules. In the short-term, it would help you meet targets but would impact the appraisal.

Consistent all-year-round performance is more appreciated to cramming the best in the last two months. Human resource (HR) managers are as interested in what you did in April 2019 as they are in your March 2020 performance.

Secondly, skilling really matters. If the company has a budget to only offer one person in the team a double-digit hike, it could be you, if you have acquired additional skills during this period.

Depending on the profession and area of expertise, several short-term courses are available online that could help make the difference. The idea here is not to just do a course for the sake for it but to get a job-relevant certification.

The course should be something that helps make a difference in your everyday work. For instance, a data security professional could bring better technology-led safety to the workplace by learning new programming languages such as ‘Rust’.

Thirdly, manipulation tactics do not work and could impact your appraisals. A common tactic is to get a job offer from a rival organisation and force your manager to match it. They may even do it if they are short of talent. But HR heads term this as the most inappropriate behaviour at the workplace and put it down as a negative in appraisals.

If you have decided to quit a job, an appraisal would not change your decision. Unless you are only doing it for money or an inflated paycheque.

India is going through a tough economic period. The main priority for India Inc is to keep the business going for which good talent is the biggest strength. If you are smart and are able to acquire the right skills, the 2020 appraisals could become the most crucial retention tool for your organisation.

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