Many employees are dissatisfied with their salary or wages but still keep on the job. Their take home earnings, many cry out, is not commensurate with their workload, skills, experiences and the ever rising cost of living.
Quitting a less paying job and looking for better paying one would be the easy option, but considering the unemployment rates in the country, which Finance ministry in June put at 4 out of 10 every Ugandans being jobless, getting a new job is not as easy. Worse still, another 600,000 new entrants are joining the labour market annually, according to the same ministry report. What then can a poorly paid employee do to free himself or herself from the hand to mouth conundrum?
Author, leadership and entrepreneurship trainer and coach, Emmanuel Dei-Tumi, in his book titled: How to Increase Your Income as An Employee, offers a synopsis of what employees can do to increase their incomes while still as employees.
Add value to yourself
First, he says employees should strive to add value to themselves and the organisations they work for because “employees who choose to stay long on the job with the view of attracting extra income without adding value to themselves and their corporations are only chasing the wind.”
Value addition in this context, he adds, comes in form of acquiring new skills or generating new ideas that can turn around the efficiency and operations of an organisation. Employers reward such innovations, he says.
Set career goals
Second option to increase an income, according to Dei-Tumi, also the chief copywriter of Human Capital International (HCI), a leadership, entrepreneurship and human resource organisation, is by way of an employee setting personal goals and striving to achieve them.
Setting goals may include “how high do you want to climb on the corporate ladder, what sort of responsibilities will you be willing to take on, how much would you want to earn at that point in time, and when do you intend to achieve that? By setting challenging goals, an employee will automatically perform to his or her best abilities. Employers reward excellent performance, the entrepreneur, says.
Think and act as a consultant
He advises that an employee act as though they are the owners of the business or organisation they are working for. This way, an employee turns out to think and act like an intrapreneur, or a consultant in their field of business. “There are many people outside formal job setting that will hire a competent employee on part time basis without leaving your formal job,” Dei-Tumi says, adding: “The difference between high income earning employees and low-income earning employees is that the former sees themselves as working for themselves and as consultants while the latter see themselves as working for their employees,” says.
Develop positive attitude
Any employee who wants to grow in the company must have a positive attitude, the author says. When a company is looking for someone to promote, Dei-Tumi says, companies will normally pick on individuals with positive attitudes to raise up in the ranks. Any raise in rank in an organisation means extra income. Be that one person that is self-motivated and sees possibilities in every difficult situation, especially when others are shying away such situations, if you are to be an employee who will increase your income, he advises.
One of the most important things employees do to increase their incomes, Dei-Tumi says, to become problem solvers and help make their organisations profitable since increasing a wage or a salary of staff normally depends on an organisation’s financial standings.
Be a lion in the job market
Employees who have unique skills and capabilities normally have a better chance of negotiating for an increase in their salaries. So, the author argues that every employee must develop those unique skills and abilities such that their absence in the organisation can create a vacuum. This is the surest way to negotiate your worth.