4 Big Reasons Your Employees Won’t Ask for a Raise

March 3, 2015

4 Big Reasons Your Employees Won’t Ask for a Raise

“Should I give my employees a raise? After all, nobody’s asked for one yet…”

If you’ve noticed nobody asking for a raise recently, your first instinct might be to pat yourself on the back and congratulate yourself on dishing out the perfect salary to everybody you employ. But while the lack of raise requests might be due to a workforce full of people who are genuinely happy with their compensation, there’s a whole other side to it – you see, even if a person feels like they are in urgent need of a raise, there are four big reasons that could prevent them from asking. And failing to pro-actively address this issue could lead to losing some of your company’s finest talent.

So check out these four big reasons why your employees might not be asking for a raise – even if they deserve one.

1. People Don’t Want You to Think They’re Arrogant

Nobody wants to be seen as that person who brags about all the work they’ve done, and then tells anybody who’ll listen that they should be getting paid double for all the value they bring to the company. But even though there’s a difference between loudly boasting and politely pointing out that perhaps an increased salary is in order, sometimes a person will simply say nothing at all because they’re afraid of how it might come across.

So remember to watch out for people who quietly but consistently work hard and deliver great results – they might be secretly holding onto the feeling that they deserve more pay, but holding back because they don’t want to come across as boastful or arrogant.

2. There’s a Certain ‘Taboo’ About Discussing Earnings

Have you ever stopped yourself asking somebody how much they make in case they consider it rude? There’s a pretty strong ‘taboo’ surrounding the discussion of earnings, and this carries on beyond the simple asking about a person’s salary – it often applies to any sort of discussion regarding wages at all.

There’s an easy way to combat this, and it’s done by simply being open and honest about earnings within your company. You should do this at every level – from stating how much you are willing to pay on vacancy advertisements, through to publishing clear explanations of your commission and bonus structures. When your people know that you’re not shy about discussing wages, they will most likely feel more comfortable discussing them too.

3. It’s Easier (and more lucrative) to Simply Find a New Job

Trying to obtain a pay rise is often even more difficult than finding a new job. On top of that, getting a new job will often result in a hugely higher salary compared with the difference gained by acquiring a pay raise.

So if your employees don’t feel comfortable enough discussing changes to their salary, or if the incremental increases you’re offering are significantly less than what they could get by finding a new job, then you might have to brace yourself for some of your top performers simply going elsewhere.

4. No Regular Performance Reviews

Even in environments where the casual discussion of pay is a bit of a social taboo, and even if your people feel like raising the issue pro-actively would be deemed as arrogant, there’s still a lifeline that will help your people feel able to talk about pay – the Performance Review.

Because performance reviews tend to be fairly formal, scheduled events that are designed to look specifically at the areas of work relating to an employee’s value, these are great opportunities to review salaries and discuss potential increases. But if you’re failing to conduct regular, well-executed performance reviews, then it’s another nail in the coffin that might drive your people to simply finding another job.

Of course, in an ideal world, our people would feel comfortable raising the topic in an informal, objective manner. But it isn’t always an ideal world, so at the very least, make sure your performance reviews are well-planned and regular.

You could even track the results of your performance reviews to gain a better insight into year-on-year improvements, which will help you to best identify which people might deserve a compensation boost.

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