Promotions Without Raises? What's Up With That?


When you dream about getting a promotion, you have visions of a better office, more responsibility, bigger perks, a more prestigious title, and -- best of all -- a substantial raise, right? Unfortunately, times have changed, and an increasing number of employers are ducking out on the latter -- giving promotions without raises.

According to a new OfficeTeam survey, a surprising one in five (22 percent) of responding employers revealed this practice is at least somewhat common.

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"Some companies may want to reward employees for taking on heavier workloads but aren't able to offer immediate raises due to budget constraints," said Robert Hoskins, executive director of OfficeTeam. "In those situations, the intent may be to provide a higher salary as soon as the firm is more financially stable." But not always.

Still, a promotion is a promotion, according to most American workers. Fifty-five percent of employees polled said that they would be willing to accept a promotion that doesn't include a raise. "Professionals should think carefully about taking on increased responsibilities if a raise isn't in the offing," Hoskins added. "Before accepting a new role, workers may consider requesting a compensation review in six months or discussing other perks."

Some other incentives workers might be able to negotiate, aside from pay, when offered a promotion include:

  1. More vacation time. Consider asking for a few extra days or weeks off each year.

  2. Bigger bonuses. It may be possible for your company to increase the percentage of your annual bonus or give you a spot bonus.

  3. Flexible schedules. The ability to work from home or commute during off-hours may save you time and money.

  4. Professional development. Pursuing training or continuing education can increase your marketability, which could pay off in the long run.

  5. An equity stake. Perhaps you can negotiate restricted stock in the company based on your performance.