What To Do When Employee Asks For Pay Rise

When your employees work hard and go above and beyond their job description or outperform colleagues, it’s natural to want a decent pay rise.

Take Time To Consider

Schedule a meeting for a day or two later to discuss their case for a pay rise. This will give you the opportunity to reflect on the question and to find out what they could be earning elsewhere.

Discussing pay can increase emotions. It’s best to recognise this and set yourself enough time to consider their request rationally.

Know The Industry Average

Before making any decision you need to know the average salary for your employee’s role. If it turns out that your employee is earning less than they could elsewhere then this could be your last chance to keep them.

It doesn’t hurt to pay fairly. Sites like Glassdoor make it easier than ever for prospective employees to find out what working for you is really like so offering competitive salaries will allow you to continue to attract and retain the best talent.

Set Targets

This approach is useful when you have an employee who performs well but needs to improve in one or two areas. By setting realistic targets and time scales you give your employee a chance to truly earn their pay rise.

A progress plan will also send out the right message to the rest of your team, because unfortunately some people do talk about these things.

Create Pay Reviews

If one employee gets a pay rise you may be inundated with requests from a workforce keen to see what they can get. This is why you need to put a pay review process in place that looks at every aspect of the employee’s performance and workload objectively. You can then weigh it against your organisation’s salary bands.

A pay review process gives you a structured look at your employee’s contributions to the business. You can then set out a structure for their role and formalise the performance level required to earn a higher salary.

It goes without saying that salary can be a difficult issue but there’s no need to make it more difficult than it has to be. Know what your employees are worth, set out a standardised approach and put yourself in the best position to answer any pay rise request.


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