employee wants a raise

Let’s just pretend for a minute that the world’s financial markets aren’t being brought to a shuddering halt by a global pandemic. Because, if an employee is asking for a raise right now they are either severely overworked and deserving or trying to find the proverbial door of opportunity. Yes, people are doing crazy things but let’s just set that all aside for now.

Imagine life is normal. One day it will be, and the prep you do now will help you get ahead then.

So, your employee wants a raise…

If you’ve been doing your job well, long ago, when you brought your first new hire onboard, you spelled out the crystal clear guidelines that would lead to a raise or promotion. Your employees knew exactly what you expected of them, you provided the tools they needed to excel at their job, and now, years later, they are coming to you with an A+ scorecard showing they’ve more than upheld their end of the bargain. Your move. You give them the raise, a free vaccine rains over the world, people flood the streets and rejoice lapping up the sweet nectar of freedom.

If only you actually had instituted those guidelines the moment you brought aboard your first employee…

Well, now’s your chance. Use this time to build out your firm’s infrastructure so that when business as usual returns, you’re ready to answer a request for a raise in a way that helps both you and your employee to grow.

This is what you say. Receiving a promotion and a raise depends on meeting the following four criteria:

1. You dominate your current role.
This doesn’t just mean you do your job well. It doesn’t mean you exceed expectations. It means you make me, your boss, look like a slacker.

2. You identify big problems and volunteer to fix them.
Any business seeking to push the envelope is full of broken pieces and work yet to be done. No team leader can identify, much less delegate around all of these. Show me you can think big and stretch your comfort zone by addressing such breaks. One day, you’ll have my job and you’ll understand the value of having one less thing to worry about.

3. You provide more value than expected.
Trust me, if I thought you were worth more than you are paid, you’d have your promotion. Ambition should be aimed at understating your value. Not only will this pay dividends at work; it will enrich your life, as well.

4. Patience.
Trust me, I see you. The early stages of professional development are slow and grinding. Right now, if you stick to the above and focus on gaining experience more than money, you’ll have plenty more of both in the end.

This is what you do.

You’ve given your spiel and outlined the path to promotion. Now, you hand over the guidebook. Talk is cheap, even if you’re the boss. Top talent will move on if you don’t follow up any such conversation with well-crafted materials that assist team members develop into the professionals they want to be.

Your homework while in quarantine, then, is to craft clear, thoughtful training and development materials. Need help? Book a free consultation with Hiring & Empowering founder Molly McGrath to determine whether our 66-Day Law Firm Turnaround program or Team Empowerment Academy might help you make the most of the present moment.

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