Discussions about wage adjustments are generally conducted around the time performance evaluations are done. However, knowing the evaluations are coming doesn’t make them any easier to bear. A lot of expectations walk into the office.
Whenever wages are discussed, a number of emotions for all concerned come into play. Having to tell an employee an increase will be lower than expected, or worse, nonexistent, can be stressful.
However, there are some things you can do to reduce the worry and make talk about wages a lot more productive.
- Connect pay to performance
One of the best ways to ease wage discussions is to make a clear connection between pay and performance. Give concrete examples of your employee’s accomplishments. If your employee has met his goals or exceeded expectations, reward him for a job well done. If your employee is performing below standard, it’s up to you as a manager to provide the tools and resources needed to achieve goals.
- Mindfully prepare
Schedule meetings with employees to allow plenty of time to avoid rushing. Take pains to put the employee at ease by opening the meeting with pleasantries or the offer of a glass of water. You could even schedule an offsite lunch meeting so the pressures of the office don’t affect the conversation.
- Use updated wage surveys
Don’t hesitate to support your compensation decision with reputable, current wage data from a source such as PayScale. These data can be used to show the employee he or she is being paid fairly.
- Be thankful
Be thankful for the work your employee has performed during the past year. Make sure she knows her work is appreciated by not only you but the company as a whole. Tie specific actions to tangible results for the company. When you show your appreciation, you make the meeting more positive for you and the employee.
- Be honest
Most any information communicated in a sincerely honest and compassionate manner will be well received. Honestly is particularly important if you’re not providing a raise in pay, or if the raise is less than the employee expected.
Wage change and performance review meetings can be very taxing, and sometimes they can seem very negative. The most successful discussions are honest, planned well, devoid of surprises, and focused on the positives. When you keep a friendly and informative stance during these meetings, both you and the employee win.
Learn more about how to connect pay and performance with Strengthen the Link Between Pay and Performance.