Tag Archives: raise

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Do You Need A Raise?

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Job raises are serious business. It isn’t something that most people or organizations take lightly. What about you, do you need a raise?

business people group on meeting

It’s certainly not a secret that most people desire compensation for the work that they perform. Sometimes in motivation seminars I urge participants to think about what else is important for them about their job. Not just the money, not the paycheck or the bonus, but what is really important to them about coming to work every day and putting in an honest effort.

Responses vary and typically around 10% will insist that the only reason for working is for money. I’m hopeful that 10% is not you, but whether it is, or isn’t, how do you know if you deserve a raise?

I had an interesting question the other day, someone asked in a sort of sarcastic tone, “How do you determine if someone should get a raise?”

It caught me off guard and I started to think about the concepts of merit increases, cost of living increases, and market adjustment increases but before I could answer another stream of sarcasm came my way by this person stating, “You look in the parking lot to see what the employees are driving.”

Believe it or not

While it seems surprising to me, I guess that I should not be so surprised. This discussion led to additional discussion about a conversation that occurred between several top executives and some select members of the Human Resources department.

In at least one case, an executive who carried significant weight in determining pay increases was suggesting increases for some of the team, but not for others. The justification for the increases (or not) had to do with his perception of need.

His contributions to the conversation presented nothing about performance, nothing about market rate, and nothing about the cost of living. He reminded everyone that they as an organization were operating on a very tight budget and that he personally knew several team members who really needed a raise, and others who did not.

From my understanding, as the conversation continued it included discussion points about the type of car that the employees drive, where they live, how many children they have, and other personal factors that were not relevant or connected to their job performance.

I believe it, because I’ve witnessed similar behaviors, first hand. I know as I write this that some may openly agree that we should help the less fortunate, and I’m not disagreeing with that concept, but unless your organization is a charity designed to do such things you might want to think twice.

Performance matters

Many organizations have different ways of determining pay increases and that is certainly their prerogative, some systems work well for certain people or organizational cultures and others may find something different as an attractive method for hiring and retaining the best workforce.

Labor union negotiations and other factors are sometimes a big part of compensation package decisions and there are so many different ideologies you could fill the pages of an entire book with what works, what doesn’t, and why.

The purpose of this article is not to aggravate an already tricky situation, it isn’t to anger any persons or cause organizational turmoil in any way.

The purpose is to suggest that if you are determining pay raises for employees based on your perception of the employees needs based on the type of car that they drive, the home that they choose, or the vacation that they take, then you better be prepared to deal with the type of organizational culture that will expect rewards not for achievement, but for merely existing.

What about you, do you need a raise?


Dennis E. Gilbert is a business consultant, speaker (CSPTM), and corporate trainer that specializes in helping businesses and individuals accelerate their leadership, their team, and their success. He is a four-time author and some of his work includes, Forgotten Respect, Navigating A Multigenerational Workforce and Pivot and Accelerate, The Next Move Is Yours! Reach him through his website at Dennis-Gilbert.com or by calling +1 646.546.5553.

Dennis Gilbert on Google+

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Do You Deserve A Raise?

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Ask five people if they would like a raise and chances are pretty good all five will say yes. It’s a good bet, but should you ask for one?

Man Counts Money

Before doing anything, have you considered all aspects of what makes investing in you a smart choice for your organization? Most strong organizations are managing from the bottom line, meaning that they are always looking to improve or appropriately manage their financial position. Money spent is often viewed as an investment, an investment that expects a return. Are you a smart investment?

You can begin by asking yourself a few important questions. 

  1. Have you protected the organization? Let’s face it; an organization is about being an organization. While you might believe your department, team, or the entire operation revolves around you it probably doesn’t. You are a part of making everything work and supporting the ebb and flow of the organization. Protecting its brand and image is part of your responsibility.
  2. Have you been a team player? Teams matter, and if you are not supporting, cooperating, and effectively working with other team members this could be a flag to onlookers that you are not so valuable after all. In fact, you could be a worry in the back of their mind. Demonstrate how you integrate with team efforts.
  3. Are you an example for exceptional customer service? Remember that customer service, or what is sometimes being phrased as the customer experience, is critical for every organization. What is surprising to some is that customer service always has an internal component. You must be sure you are a great example of both the internal and external customer experience.
  4. Have you learned anything new? The best organizations offer or in some way support learning opportunities. They recognize that being smarter is one of the best ways to prevent falling behind. Ask to be a part of learning opportunities and to continue developing your skills. Make sure you are always learning something new.
  5. Are you a smart investment? Employee turnover is costly; hiring high end expertise to join the organization from the outside is expensive too. Most employers get an advantage from promoting from within, but they have to have internal candidates who are role models of their [the organizations] future. Be a smart investment for them by continuing to invest in yourself.

There are many factors that can make it difficult for organizations to continue to give raises to each employee year after year, but smart organizations know that they need to grow their best talent. Remember that timing is always critical, and you should consider all aspects of value that the organization brings to you, especially those that don’t appear on your pay stub. Sometimes staying the course even when a raise is not possible will pay off much bigger long-term. 

Do you deserve a raise? Perhaps, but let me ask you this, are you a smart investment?


Dennis E. Gilbert is a business consultant, speaker (CSPTM), and coach that specializes in helping businesses and individuals accelerate their leadership, their team, and their success. He is the author of the newly released book, Forgotten Respect, Navigating A Multigenerational Workforce. Reach him through his website at Dennis-Gilbert.com or by calling +1 646.546.5553.

Dennis Gilbert on Google+

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