A survey has indicated that only one percent of Hong Kong companies always provide a pay rise to an employee following a promotion.
Six in 10 finance leaders in the city said the primary reason for offering a promotion without a salary revision is because they want to assess the employee’s performance first in the new role before adjusting the remuneration, according to a report from recruitment services firm Robert Half.
Meanwhile, just under a third of respondents (28 percent) said their businesses lack the financial resources to increase salaries, followed by 7 percent who said they urgently needed to fill the role.
“A promotion is always a clear sign of confidence in an employee, but without a corresponding salary increase it has the potential to negatively impact an employee’s motivation, and ultimately influence their decision to look for another job,” Adam Johnston, managing director of Robert Half Hong Kong, said in a statement.
“Hong Kong’s tight labor market and low unemployment rate make it essential for companies to reward top performers through career advancement opportunities,” he said.
A competitive salary package is a very effective retention tool, and many employees are prepared to work hard if they are confident of being rewarded by a higher salary or bonus, Johnston added.
In cases where a promotion isn’t accompanied by a pay rise, “it is vital to explain the reasons why, as well as discussing exactly what an employee needs to do to make that salary increase happen”, he said.
Employees who receive a promotion without a salary increase should consider negotiating non-financial benefits like flexible working hours or options to telecommute, according to Johnston.
“It’s also worth bearing in mind that taking on a more senior role can be instrumental to long term career advancement, which can compensate for missing out on a pay rise in the short term.”
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