Can’t offer more than 3 percent this year? Join the club. And while some folks will be happy just to have a job, the people who may take a modest salary increase the hardest are your top performers.
Why work so hard for a 3% increase? But when that’s all you’re giving, you’ll have to work a little harder to keep your stars from getting restless.
Here’s what BusinessWeek suggests you can do:
- Give everybody the same amount. Really, is a 2.85% instead of the average 2.5% raise going to make a superstar feel that much more appreciated? It may actually aggravate people further. At a time when you can’t offer a significantly larger increase to the cream of the crop, you may be better off awarding a uniform increase.
- Create chances for top performers to shine. High-profile project coming up? Let one of your best take the lead role. You might even try a “star swap” where you and another department manager trade off on mentoring each other’s peak performers. The idea is to give your star greater exposure company-wide.
- Realize that you may lose some of them. Maryann may just not be able to accept the size of that raise. And you’ll have to be OK with that.