7 Ways to Handle an Employee’s Request for a Pay Raise

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Do you feel uncomfortable when an employee asks for a pay increase? Most leaders do.  Pause for a moment and ask yourself:  how to you think the employee felt asking? If you think it’s likely they were nervous or uncomfortable, you are right. Most people are stressed and feeling emotional when they make such requests. 

Begin with that in mind and let that understanding temper your response. At the same time, asking for an increase is very common, so it is wise to be prepared for when it happens.  Most important is to take the request seriously and respectfully.

You do not have to answer right away, as it’s most important to understand why the employee is asking for a change in compensation. Is it because they feel their pay is unfair in comparison to their peers, are they considering another offer, or have they recently had great success with a key project? Here are some methods to ensure that your conversation is smooth and provides a win-win for both sides: 

Ask for more information: Ask open-ended questions to gain insight and show the employee that you are listening. You might start with, “Why do you feel this way?” Listen

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