Dec 17, 2013

    No promo? Here's what you can do

    THE much-anticipated bonus season is almost upon us, so here are some tips from human-resource experts on how to handle its ups and downs


    If you didn't get the pay rise you hoped for

    A raise is tied to your performance in the previous year, so look at your performance rating to see how well you have done.

    Ms Joanne Chua, associate director at Robert Walters Singapore, said: "If your performance rating is below average, do not have unrealistic expectations for a pay increment."

    She also suggested finding out the company's average increment.

    "If you have exceeded your performance (expectation), you should, hopefully, secure an increase that is above average.

    "If you genuinely feel that the outcome is unjustified, have a chat with your line manager and find out what you need to do in order to have the pay increase you are looking for in the next year."

    Singapore manages an average salary growth of 4.6 per cent, while Hong Kong's is a notch higher at 4.8 per cent. This gives you an idea of how your salary can grow.

    Senior client partner Na Boon Chong from Aon Hewitt, South-east Asia, said salary increases also depend on a company's ability to pay.

    Understanding the way the market and your employer view salary increases is helpful if you wish to approach your boss for a chat about the lack of a pay rise.

    Mr Na said that one option is to have a chat "at the time of setting performance expectations, instead of waiting till the salary decision at the end of the year".

    He added: "If your manager is fuzzy about your performance expectation, you should seek clarification and feedback throughout the year."

    If you didn't get the promotion you hoped for

    Experts say you should ask why you were not given the promotion and what you need to do to achieve that goal.

    Ms Diana Low, director at Michael Page Singapore, said: "There should be an understanding of why it didn't happen. Ask what are the areas of development, how to develop and what you need to do to perform better."

    She advises employees to study their own expectations.

    Mr Na added that a promotion question is trickier than a pay-rise one. In some positions, being promoted depends not just on merit, but also on whether there is a vacancy.

    If you decide you want to change jobs

    Make sure you have exhausted all options within the company and reached your own limits before making this decision.

    Ms Chua said: "Find out the reason for wanting to change jobs. If it is to acquire new skills, you can think about seeking an internal transfer."

    If you have really made up your mind about leaving, it is time for more hard work.

    Ms Low said: "Work on your interview skills, network with the right people, have your CV ready and talk to recruiters."

    It will take a few months, but always be well prepared.