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How should you respond to pay-raise requests?

Using a check stub maker is one side of payroll management while handling pay-raise requests is another. This blog is all about helping managers to handle pay-raise requests tactfully.

According to Karen Dillon, author of HBR Guide to Office Politics:

“As a manager, you’re starting with an impressionist painting of how people are paid and whether it’s fair. Also, it’s rare that giving the raise is entirely up to you – and there are a hundred things you have to account for.”

By carefully navigating the conversation, a manager can avail the best possible outcome for both – the employee and the company.

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Make no statements at the moment

Instant reactions may drive unexpected results. Expressions like “You deserve this” or “Are you mad or what?!” reflects your initial opinion. Instead of this, stay neutral. Your answer should be something like this “I will forward your request to the HR Department”. Also, hold your expressions within and make sure that you don’t look angry or irritated with such a request.

Acknowledge the Individual’s Courage

Change your perception with which you look at the appraisal request. If the employee speaks to your face for pay raise, he/she is vulnerable because of underpaid feeling. At the same time, they are giving you the opportunity to retain them rather than making them go out for finding another job.

Catch the Indirect Signals

Some employees may not ask for it directly but give indirect signals like a change in their dressing style, and more. Pay attention to such details and ask for follow-up questions if you think the person might be a flight risk. If you think they’re worth it, you should consider a raise.

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Know the alternate ways to Promotion

You can make employees feel valued in different ways than always giving pay rise. They can be offered a one-time bonus in a year or they can be sent to attend a prestigious conference on behalf of the firm. Other than this, you may provide them extra time off. These are a few ways to say ‘I value you’ instead of increasing salary.

Deliver ‘Good News’ the right way

When giving a pay raise to the right candidate will benefit the company, don’t miss this chance. Share this good news with the employee as it should be done. They should be made felt that this hike is a collective decision of the authorities based on the performance analysis and other factors.


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This will ultimately add to their sincerity to perform better because they received what they deserved.

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Be specific for ‘Bad News’ too

Even if the decision is not in favor of the employee, they should be replied with a humble attitude. You can say that you have evaluated their performance and the pay scale in the market and you think that they are being paid appropriately.

The Takeaway

Your attitude can make or break the situation. Handle such critical situations smartly. We hope these tips will help you get through the process smoothly.

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