Viewing 28 posts - 1 through 28 (of 28 total)
  • Work issue – am I being over-sensitive?
  • ebennett
    Full Member

    Obviously this is a 1st world problem, but promotions at my work got announced recently and 3 of my peers in the same senior role have been promoted while I haven’t. It’s not a zero-sum game, we all head up different departments and they won’t really be doing anything different in their new role – i.e. it shouldn’t be the case that there were only 3 roles to go around and they got them. Of course it’s hard to be objective about your talents vs other people, but based on our results and what I’ve seen of them I’d say that one is ‘better’ at the job (but has less time in role) while the other two are at best similar to me performance/time in role-wise (I’d say I’m better, but see point RE objectivity).

    It’s a 100-person company, so we don’t have job ads that go out internally, it’s just decided by line managers at the end of the year.  I don’t begrudge them their promotions at all – I’d say they’re all deserved – but I’m annoyed that my line manager hasn’t even spoken to me about it, e.g. “X, Y and Z are getting promoted, but we need to see more of X from you for us to promote you”. Another possible reason I didn’t get promoted is that I’ve had 3 weeks off sick with long covid recently and am currently on a phased return to work, so they may not want to over-burden me with a step up in role.

    I think if there had been a conversation about either of those factors then I’d have been ok with it, but as it is I’m feeling a bit unappreciated. However, I’m the LC makes my emotions a bit hard to regulate, so I’m not sure if I’m being unreasonable here?

    thols2
    Full Member

    Did you ask them why you didn’t get the promotion?

    ebennett
    Full Member

    Not yet, just announced today and my manager is away this week. I will be raising it once he’s back.

    w00dster
    Full Member

    Do you guys have annual reviews? Appraisals? Any one on one with your leaders where you discuss performance, what you may want to do in the future etc?

    Kramer
    Free Member

    It’s disappointing, and probably it could have been managed better with (as always) clearer communication, but yeah I do think that you’re being a little over-sensitive.

    Do you have an annual appraisal/review?

    wbo
    Free Member

    And do you take it seriously ? (noting recent thread…. )

    If there are 3 roles, which of the other people do you think has stolen yours?

    I think Kramer likely has the best answer tho’, especially as you’re on a phased return to work, and you’d need a very strong case to see past that

    ebennett
    Full Member

    Yes, had an end of year appraisal and it was very positive, no mention of any issues. I could have raised it then, but we’d discussed previously that we needed to sort out our senior job titles/roles as they were a bit vague and aren’t aligned with out clients – I’d assumed nothing would be happening til that was sorted. Also the LC was getting pretty bad at that point so i wasn’t exactly keen to extend the meeting.

    It’s maybe just different management styles, but i make sure my line reports know where they stand RE promotion and what else they need to show if they’re not ready for it in the next round.

    ebennett
    Full Member

    “If there are 3 roles, which of the other people do you think has stolen yours?”

    Like i said, thats not how it works in my place and i don’t begrudge any of them. It’s more the poor communication around it that’s annoyed me – if I knew any of my line reports weren’t getting promoted and their similarly performing peers were, I’d make sure I discussed it with them before the announcement went out as I’d expect them to have questions.

    Kramer
    Free Member

    OP I’d give yourself a few weeks to think on it. At the moment it’s probably a bit raw for good decision making.

    Leave it a month or two, and if it’s still an issue for you, raise it then. You’ll probably raise it more effectively for letting some of the emotion drain away anyway.

    thisisnotaspoon
    Free Member

    Like i said, thats not how it works in my place

    I kinda see what you’re saying, but presumably these promotions come with a salary increase etc so it’s not going to be for absolutely no reason for the company.  Those other departments must have had a need for someone more senior in a role and by default they decided the easiest way to fill those roles was to promote someone internally within those departments rather than shuffle people round.

    I ended up losing about 4 years of my career by being in the wrong (too small) department, then another 4 years when they made redundancies while the market was on it’s arse. Nothing to do with my competence, just that there was no more responsibility to give me in that department, and then no more work.  Getting back on track now, still behind my peers but have momentum.

    ebennett
    Full Member

    You’re probably right Kramer, and i may well feel differently tomorrow as my symptoms haven’t been great today which may be affecting it.

    intheborders
    Free Member

    and they won’t really be doing anything different in their new role

    If their role isn’t changing, why “promote” them?

    Or is it more they’ve been regraded and now get higher pay and benefits, whereas you haven’t?

    theotherjonv
    Full Member

    Difficult to answer because you as yet only have your own analysis and version of events.

    You need to discuss with your line manager to understand why on the back of the good review process you weren’t promoted. Could be various reasons, you have given some, it could be as simple as ‘didn’t ask’

    It’s tricky to compare to the others – you’d expect there to be some means to validate and be consistent, but of course manager won’t be able to say particularly what was the difference with them, can only talk to you about why you weren’t promoted and what you need to do to get it next time.

    ebennett
    Full Member

    Good question, we don’t yet have proper job descriptions for the senior roles (stupid, i know), there may be some additional responsibilities but i doubt it as there’s nothing relevant to our departments that we don’t all already do. E.g. when i went from my previous role to this one nothing massively changed, i just have targets now (which i hit). Promotions are often more about making sure people feel like there’s a sense of progression than there being any real step-change in responsibilities. From my position it just looks like they’ll be getting paid more and i won’t.

    I’m probably over thinking this and there’ll be a reasonable reason for it, it just feels a bit crap when everything you’ve been told suggests you’re doing at least as well as others (better in some cases) and then they’re rewarded and you’re not.

    fossy
    Full Member

    I got turned down for a slight promotion recently as the colleague I was up against had expressed an interest in this (then none existant) role for a few years. Unfortunately its one of those jobs that pays very little more for a stack of hassle so they can have it.

    I’d ask the line manager why personally.

    politecameraaction
    Free Member

    Did you ask to be promoted?

    Squeaky wheels get grease.

    Daffy
    Full Member

    As above.  I’ve found that you have to be VERY clear to management that you want to progress and to suggest several examples where you’re already well on the road to doing so and thus, progression is a given not an option.

    A good manager will use you/this as a means of demonstrating their ability to develop people whilst helping you to progress.

    didnthurt
    Full Member

    Did you actually want a promotion? If so, did you make this clear to your boss/s? If so, then I say leave. No point in staying and being overlooked again. My old boss watched everyone around him get promoted. He did get promotion in the end but it was literally at the end of his career.

    ebennett
    Full Member

    I never asked about one, no – tbh if it does come with more responsibility then I’m not sure I want it anyway. So it’s a bit silly of me to be annoyed about it, but apparently I am. I think it’s more the fact that 3 people with ~1.5 years in the same role as me have been promoted while I have 3 years in role and it’s never even been discussed with me.

    It’s an unusual situation as well as I’ve worked with the company founders for basically all of my career in this industry (~14 years) across different companies, and my line manager was a friend before he was my manager. When I started here there were about 30 of us so everything was very informal – so it’s maybe that my expectations/the line management relationship is no longer fit for purpose now that we’re 3 times the size.

    bensales
    Free Member

    Did you ask to be promoted?

    Indeed. Where I work you don’t get promoted unless you’ve asked for it, spent a year showing you can operate at the level above (in billings, business generation, line management and internal company activities primarily), and put together a written promotion case evidencing all of that as well as what you’re doing to do once promoted.  This case needs supporting statements from at least two people who are higher grades than you want to be promoted to. And to top it off, for higher grades you also need to present to, and pass, a promotion board.

    Promotions just because you’ve been there a while just don’t happen. If you want progression, you have to go and get it.

    Cougar
    Full Member

    Three things jump out to me here.

    First, these promotions seem ephemeral at best.  If they’ve gone from Ferret Wrangler to Senior Ferret Wrangler and nothing else has changed, why should you care?  Did it come with a salary uplift which has passed you by?  Were there junior staff to backfill their roles but not in your case?

    Second,

    When I started here there were about 30 of us so everything was very informal – so it’s maybe that my expectations/the line management relationship is no longer fit for purpose now that we’re 3 times the size.

    You cannot run a SME like a corner shop.  Rapid growth can often be followed by rapid failure if the business doesn’t move with the changing needs of the organisation.  I’ve seen it happen several times over.  Though this of course is a Them problem.

    Third, if you’ve been in the same place for 14 years and feel that you’re undervalued (and by a ‘friend’ no less) I suggest you polish your CV.

    Onzadog
    Free Member

    If the company has expressed their expectations of you, I’d just shrug and lift my foot off the gas a little to reflect that.

    Work to live, don’t live to work.

    ebennett
    Full Member

    If they’ve gone from Ferret Wrangler to Senior Ferret Wrangler and nothing else has changed, why should you care?  Did it come with a salary uplift which has passed you by?  Were there junior staff to backfill their roles but not in your case?

    Yeah, they’ll now be getting paid more to do effectively the same role while I’m not. No-one was promoted to fill their previous roles so  that’s not a limiting factor.

    bensales
    Free Member

    Yeah, they’ll now be getting paid more to do effectively the same role while I’m not.

    Please don’t take this the wrong way, but “effectively” is not the same as “identical”. I’ve seen this before where people don’t realise what the higher role actually entails until they’ve done it, they just perceive it to be the same but with more money. There are often aspects such as more P&L responsibility, additional staff management, higher targets, that aren’t immediately obvious but warrant the extra money. Or worse, the role is perceived to be easier because it changes from a “doer” role to an “enabler” role.

    If they truly are doing the same job as before but with a more senior title and more money, then I’m afraid Cougar has hit the nail on the head, it’s either time to leave or start making yourself more valuable and worth more money.

    Additionally, if no one was promoted to backfill them, then they didn’t get a promotion, they got a pay rise and a title. Likely to prevent them leaving.

    ebennett
    Full Member

    Yes, that’s part of the problem – we have competency matrices for all of our non-senior roles, but not for the senior ones, so it’s not possible to see what additional tasks they may need to take on with the promotion. Based on what I know about our current roles/targets it very much feels like a title/salary bump with minimal changes in day-to-day expectations. I may be completely wrong about that though and will be discussing with my manager once he’s back in.

    Thanks all for the responses, it’s good to get other perspectives as I was a bit emotionally labile yesterday with the long covid anyway. I’m better symptom-wise today and am less annoyed about it, but I still feel it should have been handled better – if it was one of my direct reports in a similar situation I’d have given them a heads up in advance and explained why they weren’t getting promoted and what they needed to do if they wanted it.

    poly
    Free Member

    … there may be some additional responsibilities but i doubt it as there’s nothing relevant to our departments that we don’t all already do. E.g. when i went from my previous role to this one nothing massively changed, i just have targets now (which i hit).

    and

    we have competency matrices for all of our non-senior roles, but not for the senior ones, so it’s not possible to see what additional tasks they may need to take on with the promotion. Based on what I know about our current roles/targets it very much feels like a title/salary bump with minimal changes in day-to-day expectations. I may be completely wrong about that though and will be discussing with my manager once he’s back in.

    I’ve seen this. My experienced though is when the “standard title” misses his target or has a crisis or has a customer do something stupid that screws up the business; its kind of expected and managed.  When “senior title for same job” misses his target or has a crisis or has a customer do something stupid that screws up the business the thumb screws come out and “you are senior so we expect you to fix this, and yes that might mean working late/all weekend/buttering up the client you can’t stand”.   Is that the hassle you want?  They will all be judged against each other, you will now be the “standard title” that’s doing as good a job as the seniors.  That’s a much more pleasant place to be than the one senior who’s not quite performing.

    Promotions are often more about making sure people feel like there’s a sense of progression than there being any real step-change in responsibilities. From my position it just looks like they’ll be getting paid more and i won’t.

    Yes and about keeping people.  Perhaps there was a fear they would leave if they didn’t.  Perhaps they don’t have that fear with you because of your long term loyalty and/or LC.   On the one hand LC, like any other “disability” shouldn’t be part of the decision making process BUT if you had 4 staff and one of them was on a managed return after prolonged sickness would you be promoting them?   I appreciate you might have communicated it differently – but unless everyone in the organisation sees the 4 of you as 100% equivalent it might not have crossed their mind.

    I’m probably over thinking this and there’ll be a reasonable reason for it…

    One of the most useful bits of feedback I ever got was “You take things too personally and overthink it” [your response to such a suggestion will tell you if its true!] If that’s you (and it sounds like it could be) that alone could be a reason for not promoting – even if your performance is great sometimes people like you (us?) are hard to manage.   I’ve found people who are very close to the founders and spend their life in small businesses can be especially like this when they grow and are surrounded by people who are used to working in bigger more structured businesses.

    BigJohn
    Full Member

    I was just going to reply and I see Poly has touched on the point I was going to make: perhaps they’re worried they might lose the people they have promoted and given pay rises to.

    Sandwich
    Full Member

    Would those promoted be male and you’re female? I suspect some senior manager diversity training is required if this is the case.

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