How to Say No When an Employee Asks for Raise

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There are dozens of reasons to deny an employee a raise. Some are financial, some are based on merit, and some are social – how they fit in with or compare to their fellow employees.

If you find yourself asked for a raise but you’re not yet ready to give one (but want to keep the employee around), here are some tips that may be helpful:

1) Give a bigger title – This may keep many an employee contented for the near future without additional money involved. Granting someone a more important sounding title is a very common practice in just about every type of company and across industries. The cost is minimal: Printing new business cards.

2) Give a timeframe for improvement – Give the employee a schedule and specific goals to meet to earn the raise. For example, ask him or her to bring in a few referrals a week that can possibly lead to some business for your company, or set benchmarks to be met to earn a raise. Then let the employee know when a raise is actually possible.

3) Give more responsibility – A great way to justify a raise is to have the employee prove his or her worth on the battle lines. Let the employee interact more with clients or the public. Give your worker a project so he can learn new skills to succeed. Ask the employee to do something beyond what you would normally expect. In all three cases, a motivated employee will succeed.

4) Give the employee hope – During my early years in the corporate world as I was paying my dues while slowly moving up the ladder of success, I heard several supervisors say, “You remind me of myself at your age, but we give raises on your anniversary, not sooner,” or “You’re obviously talented and will go far but I can’t afford to give you a raise right now.” These positive messages made me want to succeed even more instead of hearing someone say something negative like, “You haven’t given me any reason to give you a raise.”

5) Give extra vacation days or other rewards – If you can’t wave your magic salary wand and give someone a raise today or soon, give the next best thing – a few well-earned vacation days, a gift card to a local restaurant, tickets to a sporting event, or something else of value. This small investment will be repaid in stronger loyalty and the urge to strive to become a better employee.

Changed your mind? Here-s how to say Yes when asked for a raise.

Gil Zeimer is the Creative Director of Zeimer's Advertising Shoppe. As a consultant with 25 years of advertising and blogging experience, he is a Mad Man who works with businesses large and small. Read his marketing musings at www. zeimer. com. View all posts by Gil Zeimer This entry was posted in Employees and tagged raise. Bookmark the permalink.
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