When Your Employee Asks for a Raise

two women talking
August 4, 2017

One of your direct reports wants more money. He says he’s underpaid. Or he thinks he’s doing work above his current title. Whether or not you hold the purse strings for your team or organization, this is a tough situation for managers. How should you respond?

Here are Some Principles to Remember:


  • Treat the person with respect throughout the process, even if you think a raise is undeserved

  • Acknowledge the courage it took to make the request

  • Press your manager or HR to grant an increase for someone you believe deserves it


  • Say yes or no right away; instead, ask for more information

  • Grant the request without making clear that it was earned and that you now have higher expectations for the person

  • Try to blame your inability to grant the request on higher-ups: take responsibility even when you disagree with the decision

Read the whole article at Harvard Business Review.

Through the Michigan Chamber’s partnership with WageAccess, you can gain access to valuable Compensation, Benefits, Pay Practices and Incentive Pay information and trends in the State of Michigan, and across the United States. Learn more about discounts offered to Chamber members.