Why You Need to Prepare for a Wave of Raise Requests

Salaries notebook and calculator for raise requests

Managers, heed this warning: Competition in the hiring environment, with its talent shortage and low unemployment rates, may lead to more appeals for higher salaries and promotions. Are you prepared to respond to the raise requests?

Recent research from Accountemps shows 63 percent of CFOs polled said they are promoting top performers, and 52 percent are raising salaries. Seventy-nine percent of the CFOs said they're taking steps to improve employee retention as the economy recovers.

What can you do to keep a step ahead of your workforce when it comes to wages and benefits?

Prepare for raise requests

Yes, it’s always better to be prepared than surprised when an employee asks for a pay increase or promotion. Use tools like Robert Half's Salary Guide for Accounting and Finance to help you evaluate your compensation package and ensure it's competitive. Also, meet with your team members to discuss their career paths, and offer resources and training to help them meet their professional goals. If their responsibilities have outgrown their job descriptions, it’s probably time to promote them.

Visit the Salary Center, where you'll be able to adjust salaries for pay levels in your city with the Salary Calculator, and get your own copy of the latest Salary Guide.

Pony up the perks

If your company isn’t on firm financial footing or you can’t satisfy the raise requests, consider providing other incentives and promoting work-life balance to keep your employees happy and engaged. Some ideas include the following:

  • More vacation time

Offering extra days off each year can make a meaningful difference to employees.

  • Telecommuting or flexible schedules 

The ability to work from home or commute during off-hours may save your employees time and money, while helping them achieve better work-life balance.

  • Professional development 

Providing training or continuing education shows you’re committed to their long-term growth with the company.

  • Bigger bonuses

While you might be limited when it comes to responding to raise requests, you might have the flexibility to boost employees’ annual bonus percentage or give spot bonuses for standout work.

  • An equity stake 

Consider offering restricted stock based on employee performance.

What workplace perk tops employee wish lists? The Answer May Surprise Managers.

If your budgets don't allow for higher salaries, you can still distinguish yourself from other employers by focusing on elements that increase the appeal of your workplace. 

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Editor's note: This post was originally published in 2014 and was updated recently to reflect more current information.

Tags: Raise, Retention