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Author: Laivy Brown

Putting Your Money Where Your Mouth Is

10 reasons I can think of that a company might try to avoid giving a raise/promotion:

  1. Budget constraints: The company may not have the financial resources to offer a raise.
  2. Performance issues: The employee’s performance may not meet the company’s standards.
  3. Market rates: The company may believe that the employee’s compensation is already in line with market rates.
  4. Company policy: The company may have strict policies about when raises can be given or how much they can be.
  5. Lack of value perceived: The company may not see the value in offering a raise to the employee.
  6. Poor communication: The company may not communicate clearly with employees about what it takes to earn a raise or how the process works.
  7. Fear of setting a precedent: The company may worry that giving a raise to one employee will set a precedent for others to ask for raises as well.
  8. Limited growth opportunities: The company may not have a clear path for career growth or upward mobility, making it harder to offer raises as an incentive.
  9. Profitability concerns: The company may be focused on maintaining profits and may be hesitant to allocate resources towards raises, even if employees deserve them.
  10. Internal politics: A jealous manager or supervisor may feel threatened by an employee’s potential and may try to block a promotion to avoid losing their own position.


Did you know that 75% of employees who leave their jobs cite lack of recognition as the reason? Or that a striking 82% of employees feel that they don’t get recognized for their work?! To be honest it doesn’t really surprise me… Effective leaders play a vital role in the success of any organization. They understand the importance of creating a positive work environment, fostering employee engagement, and promoting professional growth. By investing in their employees’ development, they show that they value their contributions and are committed to their continued success. Promotions and raises based on performance and capabilities are tangible ways for leaders to recognize and show their employees that they are valued.

The problem is many leaders think they are recognizing their employees through providing professional development opportunities and sending “thank you” emails. Professional development and recognition are not interchangeable. While training programs and skill development opportunities are important, promotions and raises are essential for employees to feel that their hard work and loyalty are recognized and appreciated. Of course, it is not the only thing that matters, but it seems to be underappreciated in many cases! If employees can see a clear path to advancement and recognize that their hard work and dedication will be rewarded, it can create a sense of purpose and commitment to the organization.


I once had a manager who told me that in my current position I was performing at the highest levels and that based on the projects I had taken on recently, it was justified to get a promotion. However, she went on to explain, she didn’t feel it was appropriate or reasonable to ask for a promotion within the first 1.5-2 years. While I respected her perspective, I also felt frustrated that my hard work and dedication weren’t recognized beyond verbal praise. When I asked for the promotion, she shouldn’t have stood on principle but instead she could’ve used it as an opportunity to build a loyal employee. If she had beat me to the punch, no doubt that would be even better.

Promotions and raises based on performance and capabilities are vital for employees to feel that their hard work and loyalty are recognized and appreciated. A promotion or raise is not just a financial reward; it is a visible sign that the company is investing in its employees and sees potential in their continued growth. This recognition motivates employees to work even harder and foster a culture of excellence and not to be understated, loyalty.


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The traditional mindset of basing promotions and raises on tenure is no longer valid in today’s fast-paced work environment. Employees today have access to a vast amount of information about comparable jobs and salaries. They can easily research and compare their current pay and benefits to what they could receive elsewhere. This comparison can either be a disadvantage or an advantage for an organization. If an employee sees that they could be making more money and receiving better benefits elsewhere, it may lead to disengagement, and eventually, the employee leaving the company. On the other hand, if an employee sees that they are being compensated fairly and could have worse benefits elsewhere, it can increase their engagement and loyalty to the organization.

Professional development and promotions go hand in hand. It’s crucial to provide employees with skill development opportunities, but it’s equally important to promote and encourage growth and hard work. Employees who excel in their current roles should be given the opportunity to advance their careers. Doing so fosters a sense of loyalty and commitment to the organization and ensures that employees remain engaged and invested in their work.

Despite the best intentions of many leaders, there can be barriers to implementing recognition and reward programs. Some leaders may lack the authority to make these decisions, while others may lack the resources to provide meaningful recognition and rewards. While some leaders may feel powerless in their positions to effect change, it’s important to fight for recognition and professional development opportunities for employees. Every effort counts and can contribute to a more positive and productive workplace culture.


How many of those 10 reasons a company might try to avoid giving a raise still seem reasonable?

In the end, we are all leaders in some way or another. We all have the power to influence those around us and create positive change. Whether we work alongside someone who deserves recognition, or we have the ability to make changes in our management philosophy, we should all strive to invest in the people around us. If you’ve felt a sense of agreement or even frustration while reading this, then you already have the permission to take action. Start small by advocating for a colleague or an employee’s promotion or raise, let’s see where it takes you…

Innovation on the Clock: How Taking Time to Work Smarter Can Drive Success

I want to talk about an oldy but goody, the importance of innovation, aka work smart not hard, or maybe both. In our current environment, the importance of innovation is even more pronounced as many industries are experiencing layoffs and downsizing. With limited resources and increased workloads, professionals who remain in their positions or with the company in any fashion are often expected to take on additional responsibilities and tasks that were previously handled by those who were laid off. This leaves them with less time to focus on their own work, let alone innovate and think creatively.

Yet, it is precisely in times like this that innovation is crucial for organizations to stay competitive and succeed in the long run. While it may be tempting to simply focus on completing immediate tasks and meeting short-term goals, taking the time to innovate and find more efficient ways of working can ultimately help organizations thrive in the face of uncertainty and change.

Professionals who make time to innovate can help themselves as well as their organizations. By developing new skills and expanding their knowledge, they can increase their own value in the job market, which can be especially important during times of economic uncertainty. Additionally, by finding ways to work smarter and not harder, they can prevent burnout and maintain their motivation and engagement in their work. Engagement is no small task, especially at times like these.


So, while innovation has always been important, it is even more critical in the current environment of layoffs and downsizing. Although it may seem difficult to find the time to innovate amidst increased workloads, it is precisely in times of uncertainty and change that innovation is needed the most.

Innovation is key to growth and success in any organization. It allows for the development of new ideas, products, and services, and helps companies stay competitive in an ever-changing market. However, finding time to innovate can be a challenge for professionals across various industries, from secretaries to project managers to developers. In this article, I want to explore the importance of professionals having time in their days and weeks to innovate, and how it can benefit both individuals and their organizations.


Preventing Burnout and Improving Efficiency

One of the primary benefits of allowing time for innovation is preventing burnout. Professionals who are constantly bogged down with routine tasks can quickly become fatigued and lose motivation. Having time to step back and work on something new and exciting will undoubtedly help prevent burnout and keep employees engaged in their work. When professionals are given the opportunity to think outside the box and come up with new solutions, they can find more efficient ways of working. This can ultimately save time and resources for the organization and improve overall productivity…It’s not that we are lazy or unmotivated to work hard, it’s that we want to do the best that we can.


Encouraging Creativity and Forward Thinking

Innovation also encourages creativity and forward thinking. When professionals are given time to innovate, they are encouraged to think creatively and come up with new ideas. This can lead to the development of innovative products or services and can help keep organizations ahead of the competition.

Naturally, encouraging innovation creates a mindset of creativity and forward-thinking throughout the organization. When professionals see that their ideas are valued and that they have the opportunity to make a difference, they will be more motivated to contribute their ideas and work towards new and exciting solutions. When it comes to innovation and finding more efficient ways of working, even small changes can have a significant impact.


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Let’s do a little math and don’t worry its simple: If a daily task that takes 20 people five minutes to complete and with some automation one guy took a few hours to figure out and implement that can be reduced to only four minutes, this would result in a time savings of one minute per person per day. While this may not seem like a lot, when you consider the impact over time, the results can be significant.

If this one-minute time savings is multiplied by the 20 people who perform the task, it results in a total daily time savings of 20 minutes. Over the course of a five-day workweek, this equates to 100 minutes or 1 hour and 40 minutes of time saved. Over the course of a year, assuming a 50-week work year, this time savings amounts to 100 hours.

Again, this may not seem like a lot, but when you consider that this time savings is just from one task performed by 20 people, the impact of finding more efficient ways of working across multiple tasks and teams can be significant. Math again, if 10 different tasks can be optimized in this way across an organization of 100 people, the total time savings per week would be 1,000 minutes or almost 17 hours. Over the course of a year, this amounts to a time savings of 850 hours. Assuming an average salary of $25 per hour, the 850 hours of time saved would equate to a cost savings of $21,250. This is just from finding more efficient ways of working across 10 tasks in an organization of 100 people. Imagine the impact of finding similar efficiencies across multiple teams and departments.


The truth is that the benefits of finding more efficient ways of working go beyond just cost savings. By saving time on mundane or repetitive tasks, professionals can free up time to focus on higher-level work that requires more creativity and critical thinking. This can lead to more innovative ideas, better decision-making, and ultimately a more competitive and successful organization.


Fostering a Culture of Innovation

Allowing time for innovation fosters a culture of innovation within an organization. When professionals are given the opportunity to innovate, they may be more likely to share their ideas with colleagues and collaborate on new projects. This can lead to a more collaborative and creative work environment, where everyone is encouraged to contribute their ideas and work towards a common goal.

Fostering a culture of innovation can help attract top talent to an organization. When professionals see that an organization values innovation and encourages new ideas, they may be more likely to want to work for that organization. This can ultimately help the organization attract the best and brightest talent and stay ahead of the competition.


Examples of Innovation Across Industries

Innovation can take many different forms across various industries. For example, a secretary may be able to innovate by finding more efficient ways to manage scheduling for the boss. A project manager may be able to innovate by finding new ways to track project progress or by implementing new project management software. A developer may be able to innovate by developing new features for a software program or by finding ways to optimize code for improved performance. Healthcare professionals can also be innovative in an office setting by finding ways to streamline administrative tasks, such as appointment scheduling, patient record-keeping, and prescription management. Innovation can also take place on a larger scale, such as the development of new products or services.



In conclusion, while it can be challenging to find the time to be innovative, it’s an essential component of personal and professional growth. Whether you’re a secretary, project manager, custodian, or doctor, taking the time to think creatively and work smarter can help you avoid burnout, stay motivated, and achieve better outcomes.

Ideally, companies will recognize the importance of innovation and provide their employees with the time and resources to pursue new ideas and approaches. However, even if this isn’t the case, it’s up to each of us as individuals to make innovation a priority in our work and personal lives.

So go ahead, take a break from your daily routine, and allow yourself some time to explore new possibilities and ideas. Who knows, you might just come up with the next big thing that revolutionizes your industry, or simply find a more efficient way to do your work. Either way, taking pride in your ability to think creatively and work smarter will bring a sense of satisfaction and fulfillment that’s hard to beat. Here’s to innovation, in all its forms!