We have been having a lot of conversations lately with clients around the topic of a salary increase for their staff. Most of them seem to believe that longevity or loyalty has a lot to do with whether the employee receives an increase. Most employees think they deserve a salary increase simply because they have been there “a long time”.
Why have we forgotten that these are MERIT increases. These are not a reward for longevity or loyalty. Maybe some have forgotten the definition of merit.
merit [mer•it] verbhttps://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/merit?src=search-dict-hed
to be worthy of or entitled or liable to
Three things to determine merit increases:
- Current Economy
- Risk there may be for the coming year
- Financial capacity of the practice
Do I give out a salary increase this year?
If you are ending 2020 in a comfortable position and after speaking with your accountant have determined you can give increases to some or all of your employees, look at the body of work your employees have accomplished. Give your highest performers a bigger percentage and your lower performers a smaller percentage or no salary increase.
Employees only do what is in their job description earn their current pay rate and the benefit of keeping their job. Unlike the employee that goes beyond that and shows initiate or refrains from water cooler talk that is toxic to the practice. That employee deserves an increase.
More importantly communicate with your team on how you are determining increases. Make sure they understand how to earn a salary increase. Merit increase are not a given. No longer the days of cost-of-living increases. They were never enough to keep up anyway.
Work with your employees. Help them understand where you stand on salary increases. Increases are earned by those who do MORE than the job description.