This weekend, I had catch up with a friend who was feeling a bit low.
After three years working her bum off for the same company, her recent request for a pay rise had been declined. Her boss had said that she didn’t ‘contribute anything new or add value’ to the role.
As you can imagine, after years of working overtime, missing lunches and always going the extra mile to get her work done to the highest possible standard, she found his reasoning just a little bit frustrating.
Was her boss right to deny her pay rise? Shouldn’t hard work be rewarded? What if you simply don’t have the time to “contribute anything new” to the role?
Personally, I'm of the opinion that there are a number of other reasons why employees might deserve a pay rise and refusing to even consider any of them could cause havoc (imagine if everyone tried to do something "different" and "new"?)
So, let's take a look at ten examples...
1. They sell really well.
If someone is bringing in the mega-bucks, then it’s pretty easy to give them a pay rise – they’re practically paying for themselves anyway.
Always consider how much your competitors are willing to pay and how much your company could suffer if your super salespeople did decide to up and leave one day.
2. They “assist” really well.
Of course, your salespeople aren’t the only ones who are helping to bring in the money.
You should never forget the other staff members who contribute to these successes. Could your sales team really survive without admin, marketing and customer service?
It’s up to you to sensibly evaluate how each staff member contributes to the sales process and whether any person in particular deserves extra recognition (and pay).
3. They are loyal.
These days, job-hopping is commonplace so it’s really important to reward loyalty; yearly pay increases are a good standard.
Always remember that those who have stuck around for the longest probably care most about your business, know the most about your business and will have valuable experience to pass on to others.
Reward loyalty and more people will remain loyal – simple!
4. They work hard.
So, what annoyed my friend was the fact that she gave maximum effort, always worked late, took short lunches, yet still ‘wasn’t deserving’ of a pay rise.
So what’s the point? Why should she carry on giving 110%? Especially when others didn’t bother?
If you want (or expect) your employees to go above and beyond the call of duty, you should reward them for their hard work.
If you don’t, they’ll feel demoralised and demotivated and will probably start looking for a new job!
Recruiter Pro Tip There are managers who don’t even realise how hard some of their staff work – and how indispensable they really are – until it’s too late. In these cases, it’s only when the staff member has gone that they regret not doing more. That’s why it’s so important to communicate with your staff; get to know them and you’ll know how much they do, how you can reward them and you’ll also notice when they’re not happy and could be thinking of leaving.
Click here to find out more about being a great manager.
5. They hit all of their targets.
Employees who consistently get their job done, but don’t necessarily scream and shout about it, often get overlooked when it comes to pay reviews.
But it is something you should think about.
If they have skills that you can’t afford to lose, do their job really well, hit targets and keep things ticking over, then they’re extremely valuable to your company.
Yearly pay reviews at the very least should be utilised for their benefit.
Every company needs bright, ambitious sparks who always want more AND those who are willing to settle down and get the job done - and both should be rewarded.
6. They have a great attitude.
Having a positive culture is so important to every company.
So, if there’s someone in your team who brightens up the office, helps to motivate others and keeps the entire environment positive, you should do everything you can to keep them.
Some companies even create roles just for these people like ‘happiness officers’ and ‘culture advocates’ because they recognise the importance of their contribution.
Offer them a pay rise and new responsibilities to show that you really do value their attitude and the way they keep everyone going.
7. They want to progress.
If a staff member approaches you and asks for some sort of career progression, the worst thing you can do is just turn them away.
If you don’t have a role for them then you could create one or try to think of extra tasks and responsibilities they could take on in order to progress and ultimately start earning more money.
Alternatively, a pay rise alone could be enough to keep them hanging around for a while (until an opportunity arises) although be aware that they probably won’t wait around forever.
8. They add value.
This is what my friend’s manager was essentially talking about.
Superstar staff members will consistently take on extra responsibility, look for new ideas and strive to make your company more efficient and successful.
They’re the ones who add value by speeding things up, opening new revenue streams and bringing new ideas and knowledge to the team.
You should definitely think about giving them a pay rise.
9. They manage (but they’re not a manager).
If someone has taken on a managerial role that they aren’t actually being paid for, then they could deserve a pay rise.
Perhaps they’ve been left in charge of on-boarding and training staff or have naturally fallen into a supportive role where people go to them for advice and help.
In this situation, you may want to consider creating a managerial or senior position just for them so they feel valued and can take on even more responsibility.
10. They’re going to leave.
Sometimes, things slip through the net and it’s not until a great staff member hands in their notice that you realise they’re unhappy and/or unfulfilled.
If you don’t want to lose them – you could try to win them back with a counter-offer!
However, before doing anything, it’s worth sitting down and having a chat about why they’re unhappy – if it’s something you can change GREAT, but if not, perhaps it’s best to let them go.
You don’t really want to bribe someone into staying if they’re going to be unhappy (and probably end up leaving at some point anyway).
Money isn’t everything!
If a hardworking, competent and dedicated staff member approaches you to ask for a pay rise, never simply dismiss them outright (it's one of the main reasons people end up leaving companies).
However, if you can’t afford to offer them more money right away, be honest and consider other benefits, to ensure that they still feel appreciated.
Recruiter Pro Tip Depending on that individual’s motivations, you could offer things like…
- Part time hours.
- Extra holidays.
- Health and wellbeing benefits such as a gym membership.
- Travel expenses.
- Training opportunities.
- Childcare benefits.
It’s not always about the money; people want to be happy. Click here for some more information on how to get your staff to genuinely care about your business!
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Ready to give someone a pay rise?
Need more advice on exactly what to do next? Check out these great resources…
- How to Communicate a Pay Raise
- CIPD: The Pay Review Process
- What should I do when an employee asks for a pay rise?