Article: Dry Promotions: All you need to know about this silent threat to employee satisfaction & loyalty

Employee Relations

Dry Promotions: All you need to know about this silent threat to employee satisfaction & loyalty

During periods of economic uncertainty, dry promotions tend to become more common, with companies favouring cost-cutting strategies over increasing employee compensation.
Dry Promotions: All you need to know about this silent threat to employee satisfaction & loyalty

The emergence of new trends every now and then has become a norm. while sometimes it is related to extended work week, other times its about employees quitting in mass, employees having two jobs and once and much more. Among these trends, a phenomenon known as "dry promotion" is quietly gaining prominence, sparking concern among employees.

What is Dry Promotion? 

Dry promotion refers to the practice of granting employees a job promotion without an accompanying increase in salary. Essentially, while the individual's title changes, their workload, responsibilities, and expectations increase, yet they do not receive any monetary compensation for these added duties.

A recent report by compensation consultant Pearl Meyer revealed a concerning statistic: more than 13% of employers opted to provide their employees with new job titles instead of monetary rewards. This figure marks a significant increase from just 8% reported in 2018, as highlighted by The Wall Street Journal. 

Additionally, a survey conducted by benefits-advisory firm Mercer, involving 900 companies, indicated a shift in employer behaviour, with fewer organisations allocating their salary budgets for promotion-related salary increases in 2024 compared to the previous year.

While this trend may be disheartening for many employees, it also serves as a reflection of the diminishing bargaining power of the average worker. Dry promotions often become more prevalent during times of economic uncertainty, as companies prioritise cost-cutting measures over employee compensation.

In the past, labour shortages often compelled companies to offer significant raises to retain their employees. However, the emergence of dry promotions coincides with a period where some employers are reallocating the responsibilities of laid-off workers to existing staff members without adjusting their compensation accordingly.

Evidence of this trend is not only found in industry reports but also in the anecdotes shared by employees on social media platforms. One Reddit user recounted their experience with a dry promotion, where their manager informed them of a title change without any salary increase, citing their existing workload as justification.

In response to such situations, fellow users offered advice, emphasising the importance of advocating for fair compensation. Some suggested leveraging the new title to seek better opportunities elsewhere, while others recommended negotiating for additional benefits or flexible working arrangements.

Ultimately, while a change in title may offer a semblance of recognition, it is the accompanying salary increase that truly acknowledges an employee's contributions and value to the organisation. In a competitive job market, individuals must advocate for fair compensation and be prepared to explore other opportunities if their current employer fails to meet their expectations.

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Topics: Employee Relations, Benefits & Rewards, #HRTech, #HRCommunity

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