Performance Evaluations As A Team–Boyfriend and Me

Question to Ask the Workplace Doctors about performance evaluations as a team: 

“My boyfriend and I were evaluated as a team and we both got raises.  
How I can ensure that the new boss continues doing that?”

Question:

I have been at my current job for 6 1/2 years now. I work as a cash accountant assistant. While this is my title I still do any job that needs to be done, i.e. cashiering, supervising, covering breaks in different areas of the store, pricing, stocking, customer service.

I happen to work with my boyfriend. My boyfriend is a supervisor for the front end ( attending to the cashiers and problems). We enjoy working together as does management because we really make a good team for closing the store each night.

Back in November I was up for my review, and our general manager at the time ended up looking not just at me, but my boyfriend and I as a team. He decided that I would get my raise, and my boyfriend would get a merit raise. While I have no qualms that we were both given raises and looked at together, I worry what happens in April when my boyfriend’s review comes up. My general manager has recently quit and we have been assigned a new one, who does not know me at all yet, as I have not had the opportunity to work with him.

I feel as though I still deserve to be looked at when my boyfriend’s review comes up in a couple months. However, I feel wrong for trying to communicate that to higher management, and especially when my new boss doesn’t know me yet. Am I wrong for wanting the same standards?

Signed,

Wondering What’s Right


Answer:

Dear Wondering What’s Right:

The way your former boss handled your evaluation and the subsequent raises for both you and your boyfriend was bound to get your hopes up about a potential raise for you when your boyfriend is evaluated. However, it’s not very reasonable to keep escalating the wages of only two people that way. It could ultimately give both of you a much larger salary than you would have otherwise. Being given performance evaluations as a team does not usually have an effect on everyone’s wages as well.

Perhaps the former boss had a reason to think that your boyfriend was being underpaid for his job description, so he equalized things by giving him a raise. If that doesn’t apply to you, there would be no reason to give you a raise before your next evaluation time. If it does apply, maybe your salary will be considered this time, just as your boyfriend’s was last time. However, I don’t think you can expect your new boss to handle it like the former one.

If you want to be considered for a merit raise, I think you should ask your new boss to consider it, but don’t tie it to your boyfriend’s evaluation and raise. Just document what you have done and why you believe you deserve a raise now rather than waiting until your next evaluation. You can mention the work you do to assist the supervisor of the front end team (your boyfriend). Then, you will have to leave it to your new boss to decide if that merits a raise right now.

Your question was if it is wrong of you to hope to get a merit raise as your boyfriend did. It’s not wrong, in that I can see why you would hope for that. But, I don’t think you should expect it and I think you should be prepared for it to not happen. Perhaps it will but perhaps not. You may still be given performance evaluations as a team, without having wages change.

If you don’t know much about your new boss that may mean he doesn’t know much about you. Do what you can to communicate with him and let him know your value. That way, whether your boyfriend gets a raise or not, you will be seen as an important employee, worthy of merit raises.

Best wishes to you with this issue. If you have the time and wish to do so, let us know what happens.

Tina Lewis Rowe

 

Followup:

I wrote in a question about being evaluated with my boyfriend a little while ago. I would just like to respond as things have progressed at my job. I agree with being prepared that I will not be evaluated with him, but I just wanted to make clear that at the time of my evaluation, when my boyfriend also received the merit raise, we were both already being paid the same wage.

I also agree that maybe management thought that he needed to be paid more for his job, but we were still being paid the same wage after the raises. Now, shortly after I wrote in to the workplace doctors, one of my bosses informed me that they had found a form in my old managers desk (the one that had recently quit), that was a raise for me, but he had never sent it in before he quit. So I was prorated the raise that I had not received yet for the past month before he quit. I wasn’t told what the raise had been for, and I didn’t really ask.

I really valued the advice you gave me, and it actually helped ease my mind about the situation. I believe I just needed to outside advice to confirm that I really shouldn’t expect the raise. Since the circumstances have changed, I guess my first question doesn’t hold up anymore. But I have gotten to know my new general manger, and have told him what I do around the store. I don’t plan on working at this job past the summer months also, so the issue of a raise isn’t really on my radar as much now, especially with the random raise I just received.

I just wanted to thank you and let you know what became of my certain situation. Thanks again!