By Steve Rogers
A friend of mine is stepping down at her company after more than a decade of loyal service.
She has worked in several areas for this growing company and mastered several job titles along the way. Though she carries just one title, she has always been the go-to person for people from other departments where she works. Now as she prepares to exit and find work closer to home, the company executives, who have been happy with her work, told her she cannot quit because no one can fill her shoes… yet.
She is not an executive, but works with the executive branch daily.
The translation: Her talents and experience were too valuable to be ignored, and yet they were. Now the 2-3 replacements need plenty of training to pull the weight she carried with ease.
Assessment: Someone in this tale could have been earning the salary, perks of three employees. And many companies make the mistake of not paying their key players enough while they still stack responsibilities and hours on those serving the company faithfully. It is a sorry situation that leaves a black eye on corporate America daily.
Many of us are multi-taskers who learned many jobs and could fill in for 75 percent of our company’s employees if asked. Great logistics and accounting people can also work as administrative assistants or receptionists. Editors are often promoted because they have become good at writing, photography, page design and working with people.
Trouble is, corporations expect editors to work 60 weekly hours managing assignments, working logistics, planning the future, figuring payroll, training and guiding a team of diverse people, delegating while supervising, covering major events with camera/interviews/writing, designing pages/websites, and avoiding libel lawsuits daily — and all for an average salary of less than 30 percent more than a first-year reporter.
That sounds like using all of a journalist’s skills and paying him $30,000 when he should be paid for the 6-pack of responsibilities or about $150,000 annually.
Most companies will take advantage of your talents if your talents. They say, “Work harder, perform better than anyone else, and we’ll consider you for a management position.”
I say, “Pay me what I am worth for the plethora of jobs you want handled, and keep your job title. I am in favor of businesses thriving and growing. But if one talented person can do a job you are able to pay three to perform, don’t live in the minimum-wage mentally by trying to get as much from every employee for a single nickel. That’s not frugal; it’s cheap. Sounds like Scrooge on Christmas Eve.
The female employee’s tale told to open this commentary is worth between 75,000-$100,000 annually in her field. The employer may have valued her work, her work ethic and efficiency. But it may be too late for apologies now.
They have overlooked what pays the bills, which is high on many lists of why people accept and reject careers.
Bottom Line: Companies need to value their employees with more than a few benefits and awards. When a company makes a healthy profit, a profit-sharing bonus should fall into the hands of each and every contributing person. When key players in any role are taking care of your million-dollar company as if they owned it, respect that and pay them accordingly.