By Musa Abdullahi Kaga
As an employee, salary is one of the most, if not the most, important factors in applying for or staying in a job. It is, however, a known phenomenon that salaries, no matter how handsome, hardly cater to one’s wants and needs. Hence, the regular quest for the insatiable: salary review.
Salary review is often misunderstood or confused with annual assessment or appraisal. Salary review is mostly deeper than annual or biannual appraisals. It is a comprehensive analysis/evaluation of whether a specific pay package is a fair reflection of what an employee should earn in line with factors such as external market forces, experience, career progression, company culture, job performance, etc.
Reviews are an essential HR and management strategy/tool for attracting and retaining good hands in a company.
Several factors may necessitate reviews, ranging from competitors’ pay trends, employee opportunities, or employers’ fear of losing employees for whom they invested so much.
It is only fair that as your employee’s career progresses, so do their emoluments. This should, of course, depend on milestones, achievements, performances, etc. Should there be a positive progression, the salary should grow accordingly. Unfortunately, this is not obtainable in our clime, especially in the public sector.
According to data from ALLSTARTSIT – a tech company specializing in software development services and talent acquisition in CEE regions – there has been a massive median salary increase of 106% for software developers in the CEE regions over the last decade. For example, a system architect that earned $3000 a month in 2012 makes about $6200 in 2022. That is massive, even for an IT specialist.
Graph showing ten years salary trend of software developers
In Nigeria, however, the last time the federal government conducted an upward review of workers’ salaries was in 2009 – 13 years ago – with an increase of about 53%. The dwindling economic situation in the country has rendered the purchasing power of workers feeble. Different civil, trade and labour unions have tabled several demands to the government over the years on the review of salaries and other welfare packages; unfortunately, this is yet to achieve any positive outcome.
Recently, the Nigerian Labor Congress, through its President, Comrade Ayuba Waba, lamented the sorry state of Nigerian civil servants and reiterated their demands to the government.
According to Waba, economic challenges had eroded the purchasing power of ordinary workers so much that the minimum wage could no longer take a worker home and could barely serve as transport fare.
Speaking to NAN earlier this year, he said; “We want to make a formal demand on behalf of the Joint Service Negotiation Council for the review of wages in the entire public sector because it is due,’’
Looking inwards, it recently dawned on me the economic hardships endured by civil servants and other citizens; this is due to the rising cost of essential items and, of course, the occasion of the Eid celebrations. A friend who is an employee of a non-governmental organization has a compensation significantly higher than what his colleagues in the public sector receive, yet, he had to dig deep into his savings to afford a ram. It is nearly a miracle that he has the luxury of savings; public sector employees could only admire his status, even though he is still among the ‘masses.’
It is, therefore, a no-brainer for civil servants to work towards achieving an alternative source of income, especially in this digital era.
Unsurprisingly, it is not uncommon to see civil servants perpetually discussing issues like salary reviews and ‘welfarism’ in Nigeria. Even though successive governments in the past have not done enough to ensure a proper salary structure and compensation system among civil servants in various tiers of government, this is primarily because of the insatiable nature of salary.
The craving for more is intrinsically part of human nature, although some experts argue that insatiable desire is unhealthy (greed). Nonetheless, the motivation to work harder and earn a decent salary is our typical trait.
Musa Abdullahi Kaga sent this article via firstname.lastname@example.org.