More responsibility at work same pay: How to handle it

March 22, 2022  •  Reading Time: 9 min.

Have you ever been asked to take on more responsibility or additional responsibilities without the promise of a pay raise? If so, you belong to a large group, because according to surveys, 9 out of 10 people have ever been assigned to work extra hours without being paid for it. The added responsibility often means more stress and restrictions on your personal life.

Yet many people accept this extra burden in the hope that it will help them advance their careers or set them apart from colleagues and be seen.

The good news, however, is that your supervisor seems to think you’re capable, and if you handle the situation right, you can use the extra work to pave your way to a much brighter future.

Strategy 1: Play the long game

Although it can be frustrating to be asked to take on a new title, take on new responsibilities / additional responsibilities or complete major projects without being adequately compensated, you can use the additional tasks to advance your career, and you can settle into your new role.

Show your employers that you are willing to take on additional tasks and responsibilities, but document the work you have done. With good documentation, you can make a case for a promotion or a raise when the opportunity arises.

Strategy 2: Ask for professional development to be integrated into your additional responsibilities

If your pay isn’t increasing but your job duties are, this is a good time to ask to request additional education that will enhance your professional development. You can also claim continuing education and training. In the spirit of “one hand washes the other,” your employer will benefit from your agreement to take on more duties, and you can negotiate tuition assistance or continuing education to further develop and enhance your skills.

Ranked employees can often be helpful in this process. Through their expertise, a manager, a career coach or a mentor, can help you achieve your personal and professional goals in a few months and gain further qualifications or other benefits like more pay. With new qualifications the pay increase will come soon.

Strategy 3: Consider other benefits

While salary increases / pay raise is important, it’s not everything. You can also take other non-cash benefits from the situation.

Further to additional responsibilities, extra duties and areas of work, you can work on your skills, build on them and gain new experience that no one can take away from you, and you can use them for other potential employers.

You can also negotiate and ask for benefits for example extra vacation or flexible working hours.

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Strategy 4: Take the opportunity to promote your personal brand online on online career platforms

The fact that you are expanding your skills and experience is a good reason to promote yourself. Don’t sell yourself short in the process. Be confident in yourself, and you’ll convince others of your skills and accomplishments.

Update online career profile and your resume every few months and list your accomplishments and don’t loose your positive attitude.

By having special qualifications, you will draw the attention of potential employers and recruiters and increase your chances of getting a good job or a great career opportunity to earn extra money.

Strategy 5: Short term salary increases and job pay difficulties

Ask your supervisor or current employer for a meeting and calmly broach the subject of a salary review.

If you’ve been asked to take on more responsibilities but no mention was made of an extra pay, it can’t hurt to ask if you can set up a meeting with your supervisor to discuss a salary review, but first you should look into the pay practices of the company.

Work done should be rewarded in some way. To convince your employer, it’s helpful to list your accomplishments ahead of time and present them in a transparent and structured manner.

Don’t be afraid to make claims like monetary compensation for your accomplishment. If a raise is out of the question at this time, set up a meeting with the responsible manager to speak about your compensation in a few months.

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Attention – potential for conflict

As an employer, you can’t always just assign tasks as you want. There are some instances where additional duties create potential discrimination conflicts. Pay disparities related to additional duties can lead to pay discrimination issues when:

  • An employee who actually performs the same duties as co-workers receives higher pay. It can quickly create the impression that an employee is receiving preferential treatment
  • The lower paid employee performs the same tasks or takes even more responsibilities as the higher paid employee. If the qualifications of the employees are comparable and the complexity of the tasks similar, the salary should not make a difference
  • The “additional tasks” do not exist at all and the person concerned is preferred because of friendship, family affiliation or other reasons
  • The extra responsibility and added tasks lack significance. Their description on paper may seem impressive, but on closer inspection, the greater responsibilities actually performed do not justify a salary increase, as they do not differ significantly from normal tasks in terms of complexity and responsibility
  • Temporary workers often offer potential for conflict because they are employed through a third party company and perform the same tasks as regular employees, but there are significant salary differences. In addition, temporary workers cannot move up the ladder easily and are frequently the first to be laid off when jobs are cut, or have an exit strategy of their own.

Additional responsibilities at work, no pay raise

More responsibility at work with the same salary doesn’t mean you’ll be treated poorly. Rather, it may indicate that your employer has confidence in your abilities and is satisfied by your work – and this is a powerful message, also for the long run.

If you’re unsure whether you’re still entitled to a raise, ask your employer how long you’re expected to complete additional tasks. Don’t take on additional responsibilities until you understand the full scope of what’s involved, how long it will take, who you’ll be working with, and how long the project will last.

If you are asked to substitute for someone on maternity leave, the additional load has most probably a limited time frame of a few weeks or a few months. Many employees are left wondering whether to swallow their resentment and accept the news, or push back for more money.

Think of the tasks as an opportunity rather than a burden. Try to develop your skills, gain experience and advance your career development through the new tasks. Even if you don’t get a raise, these experiences are something that can be much more valuable than money.

Taking on a job of someone else on your team is a great opportunity to convince employers of your abilities in that new role.

Preparing for the conversation about more money

If you have decided to ask your boss for a raise, you should invite to a meeting specifying the topic of the conversation.

If you have any special accomplishments or successes to show or have met all the specifications for your new project, you should outline all of these in your presentation.

For example, how have your additional responsibilities saved your company money or time? Can you put a dollar figure on this? If your work has resulted in significant revenue or new clients, you should provide accurate figures.

You should also be clear about what you want in compensation for additional tasks.  If you want stock options and that’s a reasonable request, include that in your pitch. If you want money, specify how much you want, but also what minimum you would accept.

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New job description, new title, more responsibility – same pay

If you are offered a promotion, it means that your employer recognizes your value, competence, talent and skills and knows that you can meet the requirements. However, it may not actually be a promotion, but an additional workload that can also be seen as an opportunity, with no increase in salary.

In such a situation, it is important not to feel taken advantage of, but to see the new tasks as an opportunity to develop yourself further. If you feel that you are no longer doing justice to your original tasks or if you absolutely expect a salary increase, you should communicate this openly in a conversation with your supervisor.

For example, if you get a new position, you may also find yourself in a new pay grade. In that case, your salary should be adjusted. You can find out about different salary grades in different positions on the Internet.

Many career-oriented websites will tell you the average salary for the work you’ll be doing in your new position. Your employer may claim that your salary is already commensurate with your position, but you can prove otherwise with concrete facts.

If it turns out that you are already in a good financial position, it will be more difficult for you to negotiate a better salary.

If it turns out that the difference between your current salary for your current position and the average salary for your new position is negligible, it may be best to negotiate a raise later. If the discrepancy is very large right away, you should mention this before accepting the proposed promotion.

Don’t wait for an offer for a raise, take matters into your own hands

Since all companies want to save money, no one is likely to come to you and offer you more money, even if you have accepted a new position. If you have the average salary for your position on paper, it will be difficult for the company to dispute what salary is appropriate for your new position.

You may be met with rejection if the numbers are significantly different, but keep one thing in mind. You’ve been asked to take on more responsibility because they recognize your value, and it’s unlikely they’ll be willing to pass that value on to the competition.

Be polite, but be firm and renegotiate your salary when the time seems appropriate.

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Investigate the potential for future salary increases

Your company may not offer you a raise when you are promoted because of how they handle raises. They may prefer to give you a raise at the end of the year or at your next performance review. It could be that a raise is already on the horizon, just at a different time.

Therefore, stay on the ball. Performing well will show your superiors that it was worth selecting you for the new position and that you are indispensable to the company. If you convince your management with good performance, the salary increase will not be long in coming.

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