I have a direct who deserves a raise, and has been here two years with no raise yet, but I haven't been able to get her one. (Things are tough in aviation, have you heard? :?) I tried a year ago. I'm hitting a stone wall now, too, although I haven't given up yet for this year.

She mentions it a LOT. Usually saves it for the O3, but even in the course of the day she will make side comments about not being able to afford something, etc. At the last O3, she said "I've never worked anywhere that I went so long without a raise." I pointed out that in the post-9/11 downturn in the aviation industry, NOBODY in this company got a raise for about 4 years.

Think I should give feedback? Someone in another thread mentioned they never give raises to people who pester them for them... especially when they base it on "fairness."

Gareth's picture

This is a behavioural issue so feedback is ideally suited here. Your direct needs to become more professional in how they conduct themselves and needs to understand the industry she is in.

Is is possible to reward her in other ways, through recognition or relaxed working hours for example?

kevdude's picture

Seems to be a common theme in these times...

I too have had directs repeatedly enquiring about an increase in salary.

My response is usually something along these lines:

"Everyone wants more money. Heck, [b]I[/b] want more money! But salary increases are usually based on these things:
* Your performance
* The company's performance
* Market rates
* Senior management (and HR) decisions
I will do my best for you however I cannot guarantee anything. In the meantime keep up the great work. Let's discuss at the next performance review."

In a previous role I "fought" for my team for 2 years to get them up to market rates, and I had to repeat the above until they finally realized that I was quite sincere in listening to them. They had to realize it was a combination of THEIR performance with senior management and budgetary decisions.

Also during the 2-year period I presented business cases that emphasized flight risk and IP drain to my managers and HR if nothing was done. In the end I won, my team finally got more of what they deserved - but during the waiting period they did learn to accept matters since they knew my response every time.

jhack's picture

In addition to the above...

Encourage them to update their resumes. Make sure they have relationships with recruiters.

If they want more money, they'll get it elsewhere, or they'll find out that they're being paid what their skills command in the market.

You'll either get someone who's got a new understanding, or you'll be able to hire someone who's a better fit for your team.


cwatine's picture
Training Badge


I think there are two questions in your question (and maybe a third "extra" question):

[b]1) should you give feed back to your direct about her lack of profesionnalism? [/b]

I would definitely give feed back. Before doing so, I would tell her that I am not judging on the fact she deserves or not a raise. I do give her a feedback about the fact she is making side comments. "X, when you constantly make remarks about not having a good pay, it akes me wonder if you are the pro I need, it will not help at all with your pay, and you incite the others to do the same, etc"

[b]2) how to address this problem : she is claiming for a raise and you can't give one.[/b]

Much more difficult to answer without knowing the context. What I can say is that people only get raise based on their results and on the level of wage on the market. And they only get it when the company can give it!

If you think there are absolutely no way to get anything before lets say one year, I think you should clearly tell her. "I know you are not going to like it, and it may mean that you have to make a difficule decision about your job, but ..."

If you think you can get something for her and she REALLY deserve it (not because she has been moaning about it), tell her too. "Listen, I will do this and that to help your case. It may work or not. If it doesn't, you may have to make a difficult decision about your job."
But then, I would tell her : "I have heard and understand that you want a pay raise. I will do my best to get it because you deserve it. But I don't think the company can afford any pay raises ... "

I hope it helps?

Now, more difficult :

[b]3) Hard question : are you sure she can't get a raise ?[/b]

I don't know your company policy. It seems they want no manpower cost increase. Maybe it does not mean no raises ...
Maybe it means they would agree on a pay raise in order to keep a KEY person if, globally, the cost of manpower doesn't increase.
It may mean fire/replacing unefficient people, use less contract people, give pay decreases ... Yes, I know this one is hard ...