Personal Finance

Why you are not getting salary raise


Wages in the private sector have risen for the sixth month in a row as workers demand higher pay to help fight the soaring cost of living. FILE PHOTO | NMG

QUESTION: I have not changed jobs in 12 years. My boss keeps promising me a salary hike, which has not been effected for years. I feel if I leave I'll earn more money because I'm good at my job. Is he playing tricks on me to stay? Do I need to master a psychology hack for winning negotiations and increasing my salary?


Without knowing how old you are and how you are planning your career, it is not possible to give you more than very general advice, for the reasons that will become obvious below.

For example, other than the promised salary rise, what else has been promised and given or not given by this employer. Has he for example promised you health insurance and/or a pension scheme? Has he delivered on this very important promise? Depending on the answer to these questions, you might be able to tell if he is a reliable employer or not.

The other matter of some significance is whether others in the company have received similar promises and importantly whether their promises have been kept or not. This is of some importance because if others are getting what was promised to them and you are not, the employer might be telling you something about your work output.

If on the other hand none is getting a raise, you might be expecting blood from a dry stone! If you have any way of establishing how well or badly the company is doing, then you might be in a better position to tell the reasons for the seemingly broken promises. It is probable that the promises made were premised on the profits the employer projected the company would make over the years.

The Covid pandemic for example has played havoc with the travel and hospitality industry and not surprisingly, those organisations that trade with these industries, are also struggling. The knock-on effect from one industry to another is most visible to the economy as a whole, even before you factor in the war in Ukraine and the general election in Kenya this August.

Other equally important factors might be standing in the way of your salary increase and you might have to deal with these prior to deciding on what to do next. You have told us for example that you have worked for 12 years on the same job.

Now, I ask of you, what have you done to improve yourself? In other words, how have you improved yourself at the workplace? What new or additional skills can you claim to have brought to your employer. Have you been to any upgrading courses or have you stagnated on the same skill set for the time you have been on this job?

Perhaps this is exactly what the employer is telling you to do. You are expected to add value at the place of work if you expect a pay hike. Additionally, to what extent have you demonstrated your commitment to the job and to the company?

Are you a smart hard-working member of the team who demonstrates commitment and resourcefulness or are you one of those content to simply do the job and no more? These are important attributes that an employer would be looking at before rewarding you with a pay rise.

On the hand, you may have to decide whether this job is part of your career path or is just a job to get you the daily bread we all crave. If it is part of your career path, then you might not worry too much about the salary because from the job you are getting the means defined in the career path.

If for example, the job allows you to attend evening classes, you have easy and available internet services to help in your study. This is also a benefit to your career growth.

Other things that you could be getting that might keep you there is the possibility that the job allows you to attend many seminars and workshops and that the networks you are creating on this sales job that you are doing will stand you in good stead in your chosen career.

After the Second World War, Japan was devastated and the period that followed demanded huge resources for the reconstruction of the economy. It was from this phase of her history that the Japanese companies produced the concept of jobs for life.

In this model of working, the workers were guaranteed lifetime employment in return for their loyalty to the employer. It is estimated by some experts that the Japanese stay with the same employer for an average of ten years while the equivalent in America is just four years.

This tells you that depending on many factors, the duration of time you have spent on this job is either long or short.

At the end of the day, the decision as to whether you stay or move on will depend on you and the advice you accept from those you seek advice.