The balancing act: Pay raises in the workplace

The month of December is an exciting time for employees, as many anticipate their annual raise is only weeks away.

On the other hand, employers might dread this time of year because they may not be able to afford raises, or they might be planning to refuse a raise to someone already earning what they consider a fair wage.

Employee complaints surrounding pay sometimes stem from executives not understanding:

  1. Current pay trends, or
  2. The importance of pay when it comes to morale and retention, or
  3. How little it can take to make employees happy.

An article in Inc. magazine titled “Seven Undeniable Truths of Employee Pay” made the point that “reasonable pay is okay.” Most employees don’t want unrealistic pay, they want reasonable pay and to be happy and valued.

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Let’s take a closer look at these three important factors.

Are you following current pay trends?
This question should be asked and the answer researched and discussed before a job description is written. When creating a new job, it’s especially important to look at current pay standards and geographic pay trends. Using online salary data and software to balance qualifications and salary works well when there is no previous benchmark. Guessing just doesn’t work, especially for fairly new occupations like Social Media Strategist or Community Manager.

Are you able to balance economic performance with annual raises?
If your employees have been working hard but profits haven’t kept pace with their efforts, your first impulse may be to cancel pay raises. However, consider other options, too. Having to tell an employee he’s not getting a raise through no fault of his own is one of the worst things you can do for employee morale.

You don’t have to offer an outrageous amount, but try and offer something, because it’s too easy to cut pay instead of working to increase efficiencies. Remember, you’re dealing with people and not processes.

Do you understand the importance of pay on employee retention and morale?
Raises boost employee morale, because they let employees know how much you value them. Good pay also increases retention. Companies able to give raises and keep up with the market value of jobs are more likely to keep their strong employees. If a company isn’t willing to invest financially in their strong candidates they’re going to lose out on the top talent. A current article circulating around the social media space reveals what top technology companies pay their interns. The numbers will shock you.

Invest in your employees when it comes to paying fair wages, and you’ll have employees who are loyal ‘till the end.

Treat them unfairly, however, and you’ll bleed employees without the opportunity of retaining them.


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This doesn’t work for non-profit companies who are working with budgets that don’t have much wiggle room. We make for wages with more time off and fully paid medical for employees.

Timmy the poor boy

Or better yet when a non profit hires people disabilities complain about money and those people don’t have to worry bout crap cuz every1 else will take care of them and help them