In any large organization, there will always be good performers who are horribly underpaid. There are many reasons such as they took a lowball offer out of school or maybe were in a bad job for years. It's obvious to me that they are worth keeping and need to be paid more. Yes, I might be able to get a small out of cycle raise, get an earlier promotion, higher reviews, etc. But, these are small and take very long to show any major progress.
One day they come in with an offer. I can't blame them. Someone came in today with an offer almost 50% higher! Yes, you can factor other things like OT pay or benefits or whatever. But, the offer is much better no matter what. I know the cardinal rule is to not negotiate in these circumstances but it may be the only way to get them paid what they are actually worth. I actually want to say, "I'm sorry you've been screwed for so many years. It's a great offer and good luck." Should I? Or do I make a hard final run at HR and try to get that counter offer? Help!