The Star Democrat

Employee disappoint­ed by 20% raise

- HARRIETTE COLE You can send questions to askharriet­te@harriettec­ole. com or c/o Andrews McMeel Syndicatio­n, 1130 Walnut St., Kansas City, MO 64106.


My assistant has been doing a good job at work, so I offered her a promotion and a 20% raise. I was surprised and disappoint­ed by her response. She said she thought the raise wasn’t enough and that she deserves a lot more. I run a small business and do not have more to give her. I know that many companies, including ones much larger than mine, don’t even give cost of living increases on a regular basis, let alone a whopping

20%. I can’t go higher, nor do I think she deserves it. But I also don’t want a disgruntle­d employee. How should I handle this? — Disappoint­ed

DEAR DISAPPOINT­ED: Sit down with your assistant and remind her of how much you value her. That’s why you offered her both a promotion and a big raise. Acknowledg­e that you know she is not satisfied with your offer. Share insights with her about job trends in our country so that she can gain a bit of perspectiv­e on her situation. In 2019, for example, the U.S. Government’s cost of living increase for Social Security was 2.8%. Many corporatio­ns paid a similar amount to employees. According to indeed. com, the average raise these days is 4.5-6%, so 20% would be considered exceptiona­l. That said, it probably doesn’t seem so great if the base salary was low. It can take time for a smaller starting salary to increase to a comfortabl­e figure.

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