September 23, 2011 / 5:30 PM / 7 years ago

Management Tip of the Day: Handling raise requests

An employee of the Korea Exchange Bank (KEB) counts U.S one hundred dollar notes at the bank's headquarters in Seoul November 11, 2008. REUTERS/Jo Yong-Hak

BOSTON (Reuters Life!) - “Can I have a raise?” Five little words can cause a lot of stress and frustration, especially in companies with no formal compensation policy, says Harvard Business Review.

The Management Tip of the Day offers quick, practical management tips and ideas from Harvard Business Review and (http:\\ Any opinions expressed are not endorsed by Reuters.

“As a manager, it can be stressful when an employee asks for a raise, especially if there is no company policy. But answering a difficult compensation question doesn’t have to be a headache.

Try these three steps:

1. Don’t answer right away. Thank the person for bringing up the issue and then promise to get back with an answer by a specified date. This allows you time to confer with other leaders.

2. Fairly assess the situation. The amount of money an individual is paid is a function of two things: the value of the job itself and the person’s quality of performance. Examine both.

3. Go back. During a second conversation, ask the individual to explain both how she might enhance her performance and how she can make her job more valuable to the organization. Base your final decision on this input combined with your assessment.”

- Today’s management tip was adapted from “How to Handle a Raise Request” by Dick Grote.

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