I have an employee who recently approached me with a payscale.com report saying she should be making more than her current salary and I'm not really sure how to diplomatically handle the situation. We can't afford to offer her more and the decision isn't mine to make. I've never had to have this conversation before - any advice on how to do it right?

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Access to the internet these days sure can be a blessing and a curse. I suggest you go to payscale.com and fill in the profile of the person, answering the questions from your perspective and see what comes up. It's fairly arbitrary what you can submit and it may not be in line with the reality of this person's position. Is the person a good employee worth keeping? Is the person a below average performer. Now that the situation has been approached by them, it's a perfect time to have one of two conversations. First, if under performing, take advantage of this time to call attention to that and the details of what's needed for improvement. If an invaluable employee, explain honestly that the company can't afford it now, but maybe set some objectives to meet that will help the company with results and in affect, pay for an increase. If you have a boss, double check with him or her before committing to the latter. Hope this helps

Posted on Jul 14, 2010
by jreich - 0 Votes - Flag this post

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My advice...Be honest with the employee and let them know you will look into it. Thank them for sharing their information and let them know that you don't use that information as the only basis of determining pay. You should do a comprehensive review of how the employee is paid compared to other internal employees as well as the external market. You can find similar jobs that are posted, or check out some of the other salary websites. But if you acknowledge the employees request, commit to researching it and commit to getting back to them, then I think that is the best you can do. Make it clear that you will do the research but that doesn't mean that there will be an automatic increase. Those type of websites are a good general guideline but they don't take in consideration individual company situations. As the previous responder indicated, the company may just not be able to afford it...but if you say that, then you need to be prepared for the person to leave and to be able to afford to live without him/her or the expense of hiring a replacement. Market assessment is one variable for consideration in compensation. I would really take a good look at the compensation and try to objectively determine if the person seems underpaid. If they are a valued employee and they seem to be underpaid, make the adjustment and you can do that all at once or over several months. It will cost you more to replace them if they are good. If there are issues or there is a reason they are way off of the market guideline, then you need to be able to explain why. There are always reasons.

Posted anonymously on Jul 17, 2010 - 0 Votes - Flag this post

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Posted on Jul 12, 2010

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