While no one really likes to talk about it, money has been defined as what makes the world go ‘round. Especially in the business world, you as an employer or business owner have to learn how to get comfortable speaking to people about money, be it people you’re trying to build contracts with, your clients or customers, vendors you’re using, and even people within your own company. So when an employee who works for you wants to have a chat about their pay, what can you do to ensure that the conversation goes in such a way that you can both walk away happy? To help with this, here are three tips for talking about wages with your employees.
Don’t Make The Topic Taboo
As a business owner or manager, you might think it’d be great if no one ever asked for a raise. You’d be able to put more money back into your company—or even into your own pocket. However, this just isn’t reality. People are always going to want to be fairly compensated for what they think they’re bringing to the table. And because you know this, Amy Gallo, a contributor to Harvard Business Review, advises that you do what you can not to make this topic too taboo between you and your employees. Be open and honest about what you expect of them and what would qualify them for a raise. If you’re able to get out in front of the conversation, you’ll have a much better chance of steering it in the direction you want rather than being blindsided by requests or demands.
Come Into The Conversation Prepared
You might have or have had a time in your managerial experience where someone sprung their request for a raise on you. If you’re not prepared for this conversation, it can be very hard to know what to say or how to say it. So if this ever happens, try to reschedule the meeting for a time after you’ve been able to come to the conversation prepared. To prepare, Rita Patterson, a contributor to PayScale.com, recommends that research the market comparison for their position, see what you have available in the budget, and think about how valuable this employee really is to your company. With this information, you’ll be much better able to have an informed discussion about wages.
Know Where You Can Negotiate
If an employee or prospective employee wants to negotiate for pay but you have no wiggle room to do so, Susan M. Heathfield, a contributor to The Balance Careers, suggests that you find other areas where you can negotiate. This might include things like more PTO, stock options, commission, signing bonus, and other benefits that could make the position more valuable without actually adding anything to the pay. Experienced candidates will ask for things like this if you don’t already offer it in exchange for monetary benefits, so it’s best to be prepared.
If you’re worried about your ability to speak to your employees about wages, consider using the tips mentioned above to make this part of your job a little easier in the future.