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My employees keep asking for a raise, what should I do?

Becky Rodriguez for Progressive Dairy Published on 15 July 2021

Ah, yes. The conversation every manager will have many times throughout their careers. Employees ask for a raise, constantly. What’s a person to do? When it comes to working through this conversation, you have a few options. In this instance, prevention is key.

The best way to handle these conversations is to already have a set raise and bonus schedule outlined in your employee handbook. If you have a set policy (and stick to it), this will help reduce the instance of employees coming up to you in between asking for raises. A good incentive policy will outline everything from the employee’s start date from when they are eligible to receive a bonus, to what the requirements are to receive that bonus. The policy on pay and raises should include your farm’s pay period, pay dates and timekeeping methods. You should also include if breaks are provided, whether employees are eligible for overtime and how employees are paid (check, direct deposit, etc.). A crucial piece of this policy is a raise schedule. We highly recommend setting a raise and/or bonus schedule. Even though having a schedule may not completely deter your employees from coming to you and asking for a raise, you can set their expectations correctly upon hire. If an employee does come to you for a raise outside of the normal schedule, it is very helpful to be able to refer to your policy when explaining how and when raises are given. If you have a separate bonus policy, you can include those details in this section as well.



If your employees are due for a raise, be sure to schedule individual performance reviews. This gives you an opportunity to sit down with employees and talk about their performance, how things are going with them on the job and discuss whether you will or will not be giving them a raise. This can also allow you to give raises in accordance with performance, if you choose to do so.

If an employee does come to you for a raise outside of your normal raise schedule, be sure to first hear the employee out before dismissing the request. Consider why the employee is asking for a raise. Have duties increased recently? Has he or she completed training or increased efficiencies? There are circumstances that do warrant a raise outside of your established schedule. Be sure to give your employee the benefit of listening to his or her concerns and opinions. Even if you don’t end up giving them a raise, taking the time to listen will go a long way.

If it has been a long time since you have given your employees a raise, maybe it’s time to consider it. Additionally, find out what other farms in the area are paying. Have they raised their wages since you last checked? If so, you might be better off offering a raise to your current employees than searching for a new crew if they leave for higher-paying farms.

When it comes to addressing raise requests from your employees, be sure to handle the conversation with respect and understanding. Have a raise schedule in writing to refer to and be sure to consider the overall circumstances before making a final decision.  end mark

PHOTO: Getty Images.


Becky Rodriguez is an operations manager at AgriStaff USA. Email Becky Rodriguez.