Employee vs Employer Wants: What’s Fair?
What you want as an employee may not always line up with what your employer wants. But just because your boss is the one in power doesn’t mean you must concede to their will. Your voice matters too. Wise employers don’t abuse their power and make everything a “my way or the highway” scenario. But how much pull do you actually have as an employee? And what is fair (and unfair) when it comes to negotiation and compromise between people in uneven power positions? Here are some situations you might encounter where you’ll need to know how to proceed.
Going outside your job description
Fetching coffee and picking up the boss’s dry cleaning are not part of your office manager job description. Yet your employer insists you do these things anyway. You feel these tasks are a waste of your time and talents, and you want to refuse. But you don’t want to anger the person that signs your paychecks.
So, what’s fair here? Can your boss request or demand tasks that fall outside your job description? Sure. After all, there’s no way to list every possible task that might arise in a page or two. However, just because they can, doesn’t mean they should. If you genuinely feel what your boss is asking of you is demeaning, you need to let them know. If they value you as an employee, they will want you to be happy. Therefore, they will not want to assign you duties that diminish your self-worth. Sometimes they just need to be made aware there’s a problem.
Raises and promotions
You’ve worked harder than anyone else in the company, but your boss is not even considering you for the upper management position that just opened up. Not only does the promotion come with a big pay raise, but it’s right in your area of expertise. Unfortunately, your boss has already made up her mind to hire someone from outside of the company. Do you have to just accept your fate? Or is there a way your wants and your employer’s wants can meet in the middle?
It's said life isn’t fair. But that doesn’t mean you have to just sit back and let unfairness run right over you. You have every right to throw your hat in the ring and vie for the position. Whatever your boss’s reasons are for not considering you, you can refute them. But you can only do that if you make your feelings known. So don’t be afraid to fight for what you deserve. Even if you swing and miss this time, your initiative will stick out in your boss’s mind when future opportunities arise.
How to run things
In your mind, your supervisor is doing just about everything wrong. The company could be so much more profitable if they would just do things your way. You’ve tried to make suggestions for improvements on multiple occasions, but they’re never taken seriously. It’s a frustrating situation, for sure. After all, you’re not the one in power. So, the way you want to run things are basically irrelevant if those who are in power don’t agree with you.
There is, however, a way to get what you want. You can offer to implement and manage one of your ideas on a trial basis. You can offer to take full responsibility for its success or failure. But make the deal that if it succeeds, it will become a permanent change. It will be hard for your boss to deny the evidence when it is staring him right in the face. Once you succeed with idea “A,” try it again with idea “B” and so on. Before long, you’ll establish an undeniable track record of achievement.
Getting what you want from your employer in a fair and reasonable manner is an achievable goal if you handle it correctly. Be assertive but not aggressive. Be willing to negotiate and compromise. And always remember you are a valuable asset to your employer, and therefore, your wants and needs matter.