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How to Recommend a Raise for an Employee

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If you have an employee who consistently performs well, has been with the company for some time or deserves a salary increase, make a case on his or her behalf. Whether you go through your immediate supervisor or human resources, follow company protocol for submitting the raise request. Be sure to include documentation to support your proposal.

Do Your Research

Use a resource like the U.S. Department of Labor's Occupational Outlook Handbook to assess the average salary for the staffer’s position. If your employee is being significantly underpaid for his or her role, you can use these statistics to make your case for an appropriate raise. Take into consideration the employee’s existing salary and salary increases to date. For example, if the national average for a position is 20 percent above what your employee is making in the same position, and the staffer has only seen a five percent increase in five years with the company, you have solid figures to justify your request.

Outline Accomplishments

Make a list of the significant contributions the staffer has made to the company and, in particular, to your department. Emphasize employee achievements that go beyond the normal job description. Wherever possible, characterize the contributions in financial terms to demonstrate the employee’s value to the company. If the employee has been recognized with awards, commendations or letters of praise from managers or customers, make note of these as well.

Discuss Attitude

An employee’s attitude towards the company, management and colleagues says a lot about how he or she approaches the job. If your employee is a team player, regularly lends a hand to other coworkers and has no disciplinary or performance issues to speak of, plan to use this information in your raise request. This is not the type of employee your company wants to lose, and a salary increase may further motivate the employee's commitment to your company.

Mention Loyalty

Make note of how long the employee has been with the company. The value of loyalty can’t always be measured, but the fact that the staffer has been with the organization for a significant period of time means he or she is committed to the company’s success. If your employee mentors other employees, represents the organization in the community or is otherwise a positive spokesperson for the organization, this adds value to the employee's role.

Make Your Pitch

Compile all of your information into a written proposal. Put key “selling” points into bullet-point format so it’s easy to reference and read. Make an appointment to speak to the person who makes the company’s salary decisions and present your case. Aim high in the amount you’re requesting. For example, if you’d like to offer a three percent raise, ask for five and be willing to negotiate. Provide a copy of your written proposal to accompany your verbal pitch. Be prepared to answer questions or expand on your analysis of the staffer and why you think he or she is a good candidate for a raise.


Lisa McQuerrey has been a business writer since 1987. In 1994, she launched a full-service marketing and communications firm. McQuerrey's work has garnered awards from the U.S. Small Business Administration, the International Association of Business Communicators and the Associated Press. She is also the author of several nonfiction trade publications, and, in 2012, had her first young-adult novel published by Glass Page Books.

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