When the Answer is No

By February 26, 2014 No Comments

apologetic womanMick Jagger said (sang) it best: “you can’t always get what you want.”  That quip might not sit so easy with an employee who’s just asked for a raise, however.

A recent Hay Group study predicts increases in average turnover worldwide, indicating a greater need now for strong talent retention plans.  But if your organization is struggling financially, like many are, then throwing money at the problem probably isn’t in the cards for you.

So how do you address a request for a bump in pay when you want to reward the employee financially but can’t?

Hearing “no” – particularly when he or she is genuinely due a raise or bonus – is bound to engender feelings of being undervalued, unrecognized and unappreciated.  And this kind of experience has set many a marginally happy employee on the path to a new job.  Kazim Ladimeji, of Recruiter.com, offers these recommendations to bolster your chances of retaining and re-engaging staff when you’ve got to turn down a request for a raise:

Challenge the employee to justify the raise.  Have them put this in writing, outlining any additional responsibilities they’ve taken on, outstanding contributions to the team and any new responsibilities they would be willing to assume.

Explain the reasoning for denying the employee’s request.  If the employee contributes and/or achieves more than his or her peers, the request for higher compensation is probably pretty valid.  Turning the employee down may make him or her a flight risk.  If the employee is truly deserving, try to give a time frame for when you expect to be able to grant the raise.  If he or she hasn’t quite earned a bump in pay, consider developing a plan for the employee’s improvement, with goals for performance and added responsibilities and assure them that you intend to revisit the discussion at a later date.

Published by Conselium Executive Search, the global leader in compliance search.  

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