Raises are almost as much fun to give as they are to receive. Even after 20-plus years of running my own business, I love how a team member’s face will light up when they hear that they’re appreciated — and that appreciation is being shown through an increase in pay.
At my company, we don’t give out raises based on longevity. Just because you’ve been breathing air in the same building for 365 days doesn’t qualify you as raise-worthy in my book. But if you’ve brought value to the company, if you’ve made us money and shown yourself to be a valuable contributor — one who goes out, kills it and drags it home every day — you bet you’re going to be rewarded.
Your team is filled with players holding varying degrees of tenure, talent and maturity. At some point, each and every one of them is going to have that Jerry Maguire moment where they say, “Show me the money!” Inevitably, some of these team members will deserve for you to be more generous. Others, unfortunately, will have an unrealistic view of what they’ve brought to the table.
I almost never cut a team member’s pay due to poor performance. People are more than simple numbers on a weekly report, and as a leader you have an obligation to provide your team with everything they need to succeed. Sometimes, if a team member is underperforming, additional training or education is needed. Other times, a person may have personal issues outside work that require a little understanding, counseling and grace.
For players who are consistent contributors year-in and year-out, raises should be given happily and with a praise sandwich. Praise the person and their actions and talents, give the raise and praise the person some more. This is a time for celebration, because it’s a true win-win scenario. The company wins because it has a truly valued and productive team member, and the player wins because they know they’re valued and respected.
And that extra money in their pocket every payday doesn’t hurt, either!