A client told me a story about a good employee who came in and asked for a raise.

He had 200 euros added to his salary. The other 19 employees found out about it and asked for the same. There were no strict rules why one employee could get a raise and another could not. He had to pay everyone 200 euro more each month.

That one mistake cost him 4000 euro monthly.

Could he just give one employee a raise and refuse everyone else with no apparent reason? If you run a business with people doing similar jobs you know how angry everyone would (secretly) get and how that would affect their loyalty.

Why do employees ask for a raise

In almost all cases people are motivated by 4 things. Most popular are – next achievement to strive for and systems(stability, safety). I go over that more in depth in my free mini e-book “4 Quadrants Of Motivation”.

If your business doesn’t provide what an employee needs(next achievement or systems), he feels dissatisfied.

What do people think will make them happier at work? The simplest things anyone can come up with – more money.

It almost never does. People are not motivated by money in the long term.

An achievement oriented employee sees a raise as his next accomplishment.

A system oriented person who needs stability and security sees a raise as increase in security.

The problem – money wasn’t the problem. The raise doesn’t solve the problem. It acts as a patch and keeps the employee happy only for a while.

In a few months he understands he’s not actually happy. In a matter of several more months takes up enough courage to ask for another raise. If you motivate people by raises, be ready to do so every year.

So I don’t have to give a raise to anyone?

Not true. You still have to pay a fair salary. You can’t pay people half of what is the industry standard. Or at least – don’t expect good employees to stick to you for too long. Knowing what motivates people doesn’t mean they don’t have basic needs.

But how to motivate them?

I explain that in my free mini e-book “4 Quadrants Of Motivation”. So just go and read it. It’s free and only about 20 pages long.

Attribution: vectors graphics design elements by Freepic