Talking With an Employee About a Raise — 5 Useful Practices

1. Have regular conversations with employees

Satisfaction with work, including the salary received, is one of the key elements related to caring for the well-being of the employee. Sometimes the employee comes up with an offer to negotiate their earnings. Sometimes we only find out about their dissatisfaction when they leave the company. At least once a quarter, it is worth talking honestly with the employee about their feelings on the tasks performed — let’s check the level of their job satisfaction and motivation to continue. Let’s also discuss the development opportunities in the company and verify the expectations regarding the further career path, and together summarize the successes so far. Honest conversations with employees will give us the opportunity to confront their expectations towards the company with the requirements of the employer. We will also faster notice any possible problems, dissatisfaction and the risk of wanting to leave the company.

2. Assess the employee’s potential and the cost of their departure

When an employee asks for a raise, it is worth analyzing the importance of their work from the point of view of the functioning of the entire enterprise. In order to specify the contribution of this person to the company’s profits, we can, for example, verify their commitment and attitude to the implementation of tasks, decision-making, achieved successes, as well as relationships with colleagues. It is worth considering how important and responsible their position is. When considering an employee’s request to increase their salary, consider:

  • what role does the person play in the organization,
  • how they perform their duties,
  • what is their approach to their work,
  • how they cooperate with others and how they get along with co-workers,
  • how important is its position from the perspective of the development and functioning of the entire organization.

3. Ask the employee about the reason for the raise request

One of the most important responses to an employee’s request for a raise is to understand the reasons for their decisions and the motives that drive them. Let’s start the conversation with a few questions that will help us start negotiations properly and build a sincere partner relationship. It may turn out that the employee expects a reward for recent success, has developed their qualifications that will affect the effectiveness of their work, or has taken on additional responsibilities. Perhaps they have lost their patience while waiting to be rewarded for exceptional results and have decided to take the initiative in this direction. In such situations, increasing the salary may turn out to be justified and not only has a positive effect on the employee’s motivation, but also prevents them from burnout or a feeling of underestimation on the part of the employer. In order to find out more about the reasons for the employee’s request for a raise, we can ask:

  • what made them come forward with such an inquiry,
  • what success have they had recently at work,
  • what has changed at their position,
  • what are their ideas for the development of the enterprise,
  • how they would like to develop their role in the company.

4. Consider other ways to reward employees

During the conversation with the employee, it may turn out that their request for a raise does not result from the need to supplement the budget. Sometimes a given person feels undervalued or equates an increase in remuneration with positive feedback from a supervisor. In such a situation, there are other ways to satisfy the employee and appreciate their efforts. It is worth considering how we can show the employee satisfaction with the results of their work. An alternative way of rewarding can also work in a situation where, although the employee really deserves a raise, the company is not in a financial situation good enough to give it. What can we do then?

5. Define clear criteria for awarding raises and prizes

If we want to improve wage negotiations in the company, it is worth establishing clear criteria for awarding pay raises. We can also consider introducing wage transparency. Thanks to this, each employee will know what are the earnings opportunities for various positions in the company and how they can get closer to earning them. The salary range may apply to all positions in the company, determine the amount of salary depending on the level of the position held (e.g. specialist, assistant, expert and managerial positions) or take into account such aspects as education, seniority, qualifications and achievements.



Marketing Specialist at Next Technology Professionals - IT Recruitment | IT Outsourcing

Love podcasts or audiobooks? Learn on the go with our new app.

Get the Medium app

A button that says 'Download on the App Store', and if clicked it will lead you to the iOS App store
A button that says 'Get it on, Google Play', and if clicked it will lead you to the Google Play store
Aga Babicz

Aga Babicz


Marketing Specialist at Next Technology Professionals - IT Recruitment | IT Outsourcing