Getting a raise is a big deal.

Indeed, the best employees enjoyed a sizeable 4.6% average raise last year. Where many people are struggling for cash, that extra income’s a significant boost.

Alongside the financial benefit, though, receiving a pay increase is hugely gratifying. It’s about recognition and appreciation of the hard work someone’s put in.

Raises reward employee contributions and provide an incentive to keep it up!

However, the way they’re communicated is of utmost importance.

They aren’t always well-received! Some employees expect more than what they’re offered and walk away disappointed. Others fail to understand the raise itself, which can lead to conflict and dissatisfaction down the line.

What employers expect to be a happy conversation can quickly turn ugly. Thankfully, it doesn’t have to! Want some advice on how to deliver the news?

Read on for 7 key tips on communicating pay increases the right way.

1. Explain the Situation

Rule number one:

Always explain to the employee why they’re getting the raise.

Lay it out on a plate. Is the pay rise being provided in order to match recent increases to local living costs? Or is it to reward their loyal service, positive attitude, and impressive recent performance?

Whatever the case, they need to understand the context behind the increase.

It’s about being transparent and making sure everybody is on the same page. Expressing the purpose of the raise ensures the employee walks away content instead of bemused.

2. Deliver Feedback

This tip pertains to performance-related pay increases.

Someone on the team has delivered exceptional results that deserve recognition. Maybe they’ve been with the company for years and always worked hard. Perhaps they’ve smashed their targets week in and week out and you’re determined to keep them on board.

Whatever the particular reasons behind a raise, be sure to communicate them to the employee. Let them know what they did, in no uncertain terms, to earn it.

That way, they’ll walk away with no queries about what they’re doing well.

They can then double down on those good practices. Who knows, if they keep up the good work, maybe they’ll receive further raises in the future!

3. Speak in Dollar Signs Not Percentage Points

Few people get excited by percentages.

It reminds them of high-school maths class, which they’d probably sooner forget. More to the point, they’re less likely to understand what a percentage means in practice.

Deliver the news of their pay increase in terms of percent and expect nothing but blank stares coming back at you! Confusion will reign and disappointment might follow.

Talk about pay increases in financial terms instead.

Give them the good news in terms of dollar amounts. It makes more sense that way, which lends itself to being appreciated more!

4. Don’t Address the Elephant in the Room

Some employees will be upset they aren’t being awarded a higher pay rise.

It’s inevitable.

They believe they’ve worked hard, delivered results, and earned a certain increase. That’s even more likely if a high-achieving colleague has been given a raise and flaunted it around the office!

Don’t quiver in your delivery though.

Tell the employee the value of their raise and leave it at that. You shouldn’t feel the need to explain the amount unless they address the issue head-on.

If an employee asks directly about the amount they’re receiving, then go into detail about how the figure was settled upon. Don’t let it seem like an arbitrary sum picked out of no-where!

Provide compassionate feedback with actionable points.

Let them know what they need to do to improve so that their next pay rise will align with their expectations.

5. Avoid Comparisons

A big no-no in communicating a raise is comparing it to that of other employees.

That’s the same whether they’re receiving more or less than others in the team.

More than anything else, this is just a basic courtesy! Employees might not want their colleagues to know how much they received. Maybe they wish to avoid disputes over varying rates of pay or to keep their affairs private.

It’s better to respect that possibility by keeping everything confidential. If they want to tell others, then let it be their decision.

6. Be Genuine and Thankful

It’s important to express thanks to every employee getting a raise.

After all, the money itself only goes so far.

Sometimes, it’s the words of appreciation that make the real difference. Having told them what they’ve done to warrant the raise, express sincere gratitude for their efforts.

They’re sure to walk out of your office beaming!

You can’t overstate the importance of recognizing peoples’ achievements. Employees who feel appreciated are more likely to work well for the team. They feel valued and respected, which compels them to return the favor.

Everybody wins.

7. Follow Up With HR

This tip’s less about communicating the message and more about avoiding future challenges.

The last thing you want is to promise someone a raise only for them not to receive it. Alongside the disappointment on the part of the employee, it’s also a recipe for formal complaints.

Be diligent. Go straight to the HR department after the meeting to ensure they apply the change and create pay stubs that match the new salary. You could also have someone from the HR team at the meeting. That should ensure everything happens as intended.

They’ll also have answers to any difficult questions posed by disgruntled employees.

Time to Communicate a Pay Increase!

Almost everybody loves getting a pay increase.

As such, delivering the news to an employee promises to be a happy affair. However, there’s also room for problems if the message isn’t communicated effectively.

Hopefully, though, the information in this post will prevent that from happening.

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