Network Computing is part of the Informa Tech Division of Informa PLC

This site is operated by a business or businesses owned by Informa PLC and all copyright resides with them. Informa PLC's registered office is 5 Howick Place, London SW1P 1WG. Registered in England and Wales. Number 8860726.

RealityIT: Employee Compensation vs. The Budget

Point, Counterpoint

I head down the hall to talk to Richard, who's perched behind his supersized desk in his supersized office. I understand that ACME's executive board has put a 3 percent cap on total salary increases for each department, I tell him. And granted, that's an improvement over last year's 2 percent raises. Still, I explain, this approach lands me squarely between a rock and a hard place. We have two exceptional IT staffers who, though dedicated, are bound to look elsewhere if we can't get them more than the status quo. Yet giving them each, say, a 6 percent raise wouldn't leave me with enough to dole out to my other worthy employees.

That's when Richard starts spouting figures from ACME's recent salary surveys, which--surprise--peg just about every IT staffer at the "appropriate or higher" salary. "Besides," he adds, toeing the ACME line, "some companies aren't giving out any raises this year."

He's right about that last part, of course, and in years past I might have acquiesced. This time, though, I've gathered supporting materials from my department managers and I'm prepared to plead my case. "All that's well and good," I say, "but we need to look at the bigger picture." Network engineer Eugene Wright upgraded our server backbone almost single-handedly, I inform him, and software developer Dave Fried worked night and day to create an online toolkit that's proved invaluable for our sales staff. We can't afford to lose that kind of talent to the competition.

What's more, I add, we've spent several thousand dollars on training for each of these guys, and if they walk, we'll have to spend thousands more to advertise, interview and train their replacements. Outsourcing their jobs isn't an option, either--that would really put us in the hole.

  • 1