Sometimes we can do the wrong thing for the right reason. Today’s reader question is a case in point:
Do you think it’s wise for a manager to give up a percentage of their raise to the MVP on their team who is underpaid?
Kudos to this manager for wanting to do the right thing and get a pay increase for their rockstar employee. But giving up your own pay isn’t the way to do it. Here are 3 reasons why:
- The manager. At some point in the future, the manager might need the money. They’ve already set the precedent of giving away a piece of their pay increase.
- The MVP employee. How is this employee supposed to handle getting a piece of their managers pay increase? It’s easy to say that they wouldn’t know but, realistically speaking, the workplace is too small and eventually people will find out.
- Other rockstar employees. Is it unreasonable for other high performers to expect their manager to give up a piece of their pay increase? Again, once word gets out…expectations change.
Now you might be asking, what about that university president who gave up $90K in salary. Was he wrong? Keep in mind a couple of things. First, he was an interim president. The next president will negotiate their own salary. The salary increases were to bring employee pay in line with the proposed new minimum wage. There are just enough subtle nuances to make the outcomes different.
The manager is on the right track. If you manage a superstar and you know they’re underpaid, go fight for them to get more money. The fight isn’t giving up your pay. The fight is getting the employee the pay increase they deserve. That doesn’t create any of the issues above.
- The manager keeps their pay.
- The employee learns that the manager fought for them to get what they deserve.
- And other employees know the manager can and will fight for them too if deserved.
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One of the things I’m hearing more employees talk about is the need for managers to stick up for their team. When we think about employee engagement and retention, consider the impact of manager loyalty. Not just to the company but to their team.