To give, or not to give? Navigating the merit increase dilemma.

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As the inflation scare continues to haunt us (despite the appearance that we avoided an immediate crisis), people and companies everywhere are still feeling the pressure. 

The IMF predicts that economic expansion will be steady but slow (at 3.1 percent, up from 0.2 from October 2023’s projections), but there are still signs of risk and turbulence ahead. In other words, businesses should tread carefully. 

Many companies made the hard decision to lay people off throughout 2023. And, despite a more positive economic outlook for 2024—the aversion of a recession, low unemployment, and declining inflation—many businesses continue to make cuts. On the other hand, some companies are battening down and seeing where they can cut corners and increase efficiency and productivity without sacrificing their hard-won talent. 

Whether you’ve instituted layoffs or not, your people are still the ultimate drivers of long-term business success and growth. Keeping them happy must remain a top priority, and like businesses, individuals feel the economic crunch. They may ask about raises and find a new job if they don’t receive one. 

Is holding off on merit increases holding off on growth?

When it comes to deciding on merit increases, business leaders may find themselves facing a

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