Make the Salary Administration Discussion Quick and Easy

by on June 11, 2009 · 0 Comment POSTED IN: HR Info Center

Make Employees Understand What’s Going On With Their Salary Administration

This is the template that you should use to talk to anybody about their salary administration increase.

For the 80-90% who are going to end up on the positive side, congratulate them. Tell them what the results of the salary administration are. Tell them the percentage increase and where they are in their salary grade. If their being affected negatively, tell them that too and encourage them to do better for next time, otherwise encourage them to keep doing the good job they’ve been doing.

Suppose you have a senior employee who isn’t getting as good a pay raise as he’s used to, but is getting paid as much as anyone pays an employee for what he does. You’d say something to the effect of “Congratulations, senior employee! Your new salary is $69,500. That’s an increase of 1.5%, which keeps you in the fourth quartile, literally at the top edge of what we pay anybody to do the kind of work you do or as compared to folks like you in our industry. We pay you at that rate because we appreciate your great work and your outstanding effort. Keep it up. Thank you very much.” Even though he’s not getting as significant a pay raise as he may be used to, you make the employee understand that he’s still valued and well-paid for what he does.

Let’s go to the young employee. “Congratulations! Your new salary is $38,500. That’s an increase of 5% which is the maximum salary administration increase we’re allowed to give in any calendar year. This puts you for the first time in the second quartile of your salary grade which means you have a great deal of room left to go and you’re not yet at mid point and more importantly, you have potential to go to a senior position someday and there’s even more salary treatment for you here. You’ve got a great future. I appreciate all your wonderful work. Keep it up.”

Now how was that bad? The whole salary administration conversation shouldn’t take you five minutes. Now, most do not leave the room doing high fives and going, “woo hoo!” But by the same token, most don’t leave the room going, sigh or heading to the bar to drink until they don’t hate you.

They basically understand what’s going on. Then they go back to work and maybe they have a drink later but probably not to kill the fire, maybe just to celebrate they got a little bigger check now than they used to have. It’s the adult to adult conversation you were trying to have about salary administration.

Edited Remarks from “How to Drain the Drama from Salary Reviews: A Conversation Roadmap” by Gary Markle

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