A content employee is the most valuable asset to a company. In a high performing organization, it is the manager’s responsibility to constantly track what matters most to the employees. Unlike other priorities, managers consider employee pay rise request as one of the hard situations to manage. Let’s create a basic structure to deal with this tricky compensation task.
Framework to Manage Employee Pay Rise Request
To start with, managers must keep the office settings neutral rather than rejecting the request for employee pay rise outright. Actively listen what the employee is saying. A direct request for a pay rise never comes so easily from an employee. The employee may have given passive hints earlier that you might have overlooked. Moreover, it is a sensitive as well as a bold topic for the employee too. Maintain composure over your body language, facial expression, and the speech tone. The conversation can begin with, “Thanks for bringing this matter to my attention”, or “It’s great you want to have an open discussion on this.”
Consider the Request
An employee asks for a raise after doing an in-depth groundwork. Pay attention to how the employees are substantiating their request for a pay rise. They might have felt underpaid or neglected while fulfilling their official responsibilities. The manager should try to gather more information on the pay raise matter through in-direct inquiry. Cross-question the employee on the points given in favor of pay raise request. Pose questions like, “Tell me more”, “So what’s going on your mind?”, or “You felt like under compensated for your last assignment?” To come to a conclusion, it is important to get clarity on the employee’s perspective with respect to pay raise request.
Review Employee Performance
Post discussion manager should examine the past performance of the particular employee over a timeline. Retrospect the assignments given to the employees and their level of contributions in them. Compare other colleagues’ performances and paychecks during the same period when an employee asks for a raise. Besides this, the manager can discuss the issue with the right authority like HR manager or other leaders without disclosing the concerned employee’s identity. Assess the employee pay rise request while self-questioning, “Does a worker doing a similar job in another company get equivalent pay?” or is it a simple case of “The grass is greener on the other side”.
Deliver the News
For the final feedback on the employee pay rise request, prepare a hard fact-file sheet. During the evaluation, if the employees turn out as good performers and add value to the company, you have to retain them. So deliver the good news to them keeping your attitude calm and composed. Acknowledge that the employee’s request for a pay rise is accepted on the basis of the valuable contributions given to achieve the company’s goal.
On the other hand, what if you have to announce the unfortunate news? Be prepared to face the employee’s disappointment. Try to compose an unbiased message, “We considered your request for pay rise earnestly. Therefore, we studied and compared your payment against your colleagues as well as other people in the similar job profile in the market and came to the conclusion that your pay is apt. Hence there is no modification in your compensation.”
In general, managers can think of substitutes to pay raise demand. It can be bonuses, special privileges, or additional help. Suggest the employees how they can make up to their request with some concrete actions in the future. Reassure her that you will look into the pay raise matter once again within a stipulated time period.