top of page

What to Do If a Worker Wants a Raise and You Can't Provide One

Updated: Dec 11, 2023

In a perfect world, every employee is fully satisfied with their salary. However, in today's workplace, an employee can come forward and request a raise at any time. If you are unprepared for this situation, problems can arise. And, if you fail to manage the scenario properly, you risk alienating your employee altogether.

How to Respond If a Worker Wants a Raise and You Can't Provide One

There is no one-size-fits-all approach to respond to a worker who requests a raise that you cannot provide. Fortunately, there are several things you can do to ensure this employee knows you are doing everything in your power to accommodate their request. These include:

1. Listen to Your Employee, Then Wait to Respond

Resist the urge to immediately tell your employee that you cannot fulfill their request for a raise. Instead, tell him or her that you need time to consider their request.

Get as much information as you can from your employee. Find out why he or she wants a raise. And, conduct research to determine if your worker's current salary aligns with industry benchmarks.

Furthermore, meet with your superiors and anyone else who can accommodate your employee's request for a higher salary. In doing so, you can verify if anything can be done to satisfy your worker's request.

2. Assess Your Employee's Value to Your Business

Consider the skills and experience of the employee who wants a pay hike. If this worker is an essential member of your team, you should do everything possible to ensure he or she is comfortable with their salary.

Oftentimes, it helps to look at how a worker contributes to your business's day-to-day activities. If an employee has been a vital part of your company's success, he or she may be worthy of a pay increase.

3. Explore Pay Raise Alternatives

Think outside the box to support your employee. In some instances, you may find that you can offer a flexible schedule in lieu of a pay increase. Or, you may be able to provide a worker with additional vacation time rather than a hike in pay.

Pay raise alternatives won't always hit the mark with an employee. But, these can show a worker that you want him or her to know that their contributions are valued and appreciated. Plus, the alternatives can help you satisfy a worker's requirements without putting a major dent in your company's finances.

The Bottom Line on How to Respond to a Request for a Raise

There can be times when you cannot accommodate an employee's request for a pay increase. If you try your best to fulfill your request, be honest with your worker. At this point, your worker will need to accept your actions. Meanwhile, you can continue to try to help this employee boost their pay.

Finally, if you want help determining the best pay rates for your employees, Ascend Staffing can assist. We offer staffing solutions to ensure your company can add top talent in accordance with your budget. For more information about our staffing solutions, please contact us today.


bottom of page