To Raise or Not to Raise: Determining When Employees Deserve Additional Compensation

Picture of Gina Blitstein Gina Blitstein combines her insight as a fellow small business owner with her strong communication skills, exploring topics that enhance your business efforts. That first-hand knowledge, matched with an insatiable curiosity to know more about just about anything, makes her a well-rounded writer with a sincere desire to engage and inform.

To Raise or Not to Raise: Determining When Employees Deserve Additional Compensation

Business owners know that compensating employees well is the most important way to demonstrate the degree to which they’re considered valuable assets to the organization. Good employees deserve raises in pay that show them that their performance is recognized and appreciated. Rewarding your stellar employees with fair and commensurate pay raises will keep them invested in the success of your business and loyal to your employ.

As a proactive boss you’ll want to keep an eye out for superstar employees and approach them when you feel a reward is in order. Employees should, however, feel comfortable coming to you to discuss a raise to which they feel entitled. Do beware of employees who seem to relentlessly pat themselves on the back for every minor accomplishment, expecting to be rewarded. It’s up to you to ultimately recognize the value of employees’ work to the company. How will you determine if they do, indeed, deserve a bump in pay? Here are some behaviors and attitudes for which to be on the lookout:

Which of your employees regularly do these things?

Performs their work above and beyond the call of duty. These employees don’t just do the bare minimum to slide by. You can tell that they are engaged and dedicated to making a difference by the way they look for ways to be of service to the company. They don’t wait to be tasked - they anticipate, self-start and follow through.

Willingly puts in the time to do the work - even if it’s (occasionally) beyond the standard workday. You don’t see these employees watching the clock because they’re busy getting things done. They don’t mind staying later than others once in a while if necessary, to complete tasks and get projects completed on time and with a high degree of competence. Note, however, working late shouldn’t be necessary on a regular basis. If putting in a lot of extra time is frequently necessary, it may be a symptom that your employees are overworked.

Takes independent initiative. A great employee makes your business their business. They take note of pain points or weaknesses and strive to solve problems. They offer feedback and ideas about processes, policies, the bottom line… They feel free to make suggestions about and take actions toward improving your business.

Demonstrates a positive attitude. A bad attitude serves no one and brings morale down. A star employee knows this and finds a way to remain upbeat, even in the face of difficulty. She will rise above the fray and overcome adversity with a new idea or a ‘Plan B’ rather than letting problems bring her or the team down.

Is consistently reliable with excellent results. You certainly know which employees always deliver on time and in flawless fashion. These reliable employees make your workplace hum. Both skilled and conscientious, these workers possess attributes that deserve to be recognized with additional compensation.

Seek regular feedback. Raise-worthy employees are constantly curious about their job performance, in search of feedback that will help them work even better. They’ll request reviews along the way, rather than waiting for you to take note or mention their quality of work in a scheduled review.

Actively looking for which workers are quality employees will keep your workforce strong and motivated - and happily employed with you. Being vigilant as to the performance of your individual employees will yield important intel. Notice those who don’t qualify for raises, too. Consider why that may be the case. Are they struggling? Overworked? Unhappy with the demands of their position? Do they feel less than supported? Strive to discover the reason(s) they’re languishing. Discuss their position and their feelings about it. If there’s something you can do to help promote greater performance, attempt to do so. If not, they may not be a good fit for your organization. Encourage them to seek a different position or employment elsewhere. If you’re truly unhappy with their performance, you could dismiss them, although without regular raises, they’re more likely to be dissatisfied and quit of their own volition.

Raises are potent ways of encouraging good workers to remain good and motivated to improve. Be on the lookout for your company’s superstars and compensate them accordingly. You’ll be rewarded as well with a high-quality, content staff.

What employee qualities do you consider raise-worthy?

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