Strategies You can Use to Convince Your Leadership about Promotion and Salary Upgrades
11 September, 2018
I faced two challenges in my this company. First, I was handling a total of eighteen direct reports, twice the usual manager-to-directs ratio. Second, I was working for founders who were not very open about further spending for salaries, hence, not always supportive of promoting people and pursuing organizational restructure.
I took three actions to resolve my concerns. First, as a tactical means to manage a large team, I conducted weekly 30min one-on-ones with my direct reports. This involved a lot of work on my part and I kept telling my leadership that having such a large number of reports was not ideal and was counterproductive. As a quick fix, I identified two engineers as team leaders who started doing team management tasks daily without any salary upgrade. This helped a lot to distribute the workload since they then managed half of my team. Second, I launched thorough performance reviews for my team and consistently updated the leadership of their progress. This was a strategic approach so that I could recommend my people who were deserving and were ready for a promotion. In line with this effort was also a recommendation to increase the salaries of the persons in question if not give them a promotion, which the Executive Team was questioning and challenging for more justification. I really wanted to make things happen so to support my strategy, we consulted with a 3rd party HR company to come up with a pay scale structure and defined salary ranges for every role to ensure everyone was paid fairly.
The key lesson here was the importance of educating founders on fair compensation and pursuing this cause even if there was some push back. I could have gone to consult with the 3rd party HR a lot sooner and not simply relied on promises to promote after every performance review that got pushed out a number of times anyway.
Himanshu Gahlot, Director of Engineering at Lambda School, shares how he used his own learnings to support his direct reports and help them grow in their careers.
Director of Engineering at Lambda School
Jeffrey Wescott, Director of Engineering at Splunk, describes how he introduced clarity on ownership between four disparate teams by drafting a charter that precisely demarcated who owned what.
Director of Engineering at Splunk
Pete Murray, Principal Software Engineer at Electronic Arts, recalls his efforts to introduce a cutting edge technology of that time and how that was intrinsically connected with his personal growth as an engineer.
Principal Software Engineer at Electronic Arts
Adam Bauman, Engineering Manager at Quizlet, shares how he had to find his way through when the company he was working at transitioned from one stage to another leaving many people redundant.
Engineering Manager at Quizlet
Adam Bauman, Engineering Manager at Quizlet, explains how deciding between seniority and leadership potential made him regret his decision.
Engineering Manager at Quizlet
You're a great engineer.
Become a great engineering leader.
Plato (platohq.com) is the world's biggest mentorship platform for engineering managers & product managers. We've curated a community of mentors who are the tech industry's best engineering & product leaders from companies like Facebook, Lyft, Slack, Airbnb, Gusto, and more.