Some things you probably didn’t learn at school ……
There’s more to it than numbers
I once worked with a sales team alongside one of the country’s top achievers. Within 3 years of her arrival, the branch had rocketed from nowhere to number 4 nationally. This wunderkind was credited for single-handedly producing over half of the turnover and profits. Understandably, management were under her spell.
And then she left. In a fit of rage.
Our resident Diva tossed her resignation letter and company car keys onto the general manager’s desk as she made her way to the door. Her reason? She had returned from a regional sales conference and discovered that she was being paid substantially less than her peers. She was livid.
The atmosphere was tense to say the least. We lesser mortals were all holding our breath to see the alpha males leap into rescue mode. With a sense of urgency: to grovel and make enticing promises of better things to come. To confess that they were greedy and guilty of unfair exploitation and to beg for forgiveness. She no doubt expected that to happen. So did we.
But they did nothing. They sat back and allowed her to leave.
It just didn’t make sense. How could they allow their cash-cow, their magic golden goose, to just disappear into the sunset without even putting up a fight? Being the queen of gossip, I saw it as my duty to do some digging for the back-story and was confidentially told that despite her contribution, her behaviour was getting out of hand. Her assertiveness and glowing track record resulted in her demanding and consistently getting her own way. Amongst other things, she often expected deals to be given to her when someone else had done all the spade work. If she had previously handled business for the same client she felt that any future deals were rightfully hers, despite having done nothing to earn them. And the rest of the team were unwilling to back down and swallow their disappointment any longer. So sadly for her, her voluntary departure actually presented a golden opportunity for an overhaul and a fresh start.
It was a brave and rather illogical management decision and it came as no surprise that sales volume and profits did decrease after she left, but the vibe improved and the team consolidated and eventually bounced back.
If ever I needed convincing any business is bigger than any one individual, here was proof.
For what it’s worth, there are better ways of negotiating a pay increase. Backing your employers into a corner can only end in tears. Therefore if you feel you deserve better, firstly calm down and take a deep breath. Then go and ask for what you want. Remember to be humble and considerate. Always treat your colleagues with respect. In other words, avoid becoming a grudge purchase. There’s no future in that.
And if that fails get out of there and go grab what you’re worth elsewhere.
Till our next chat at the coffee station, whilst minding everyone else’s business,