Bad Boss? 7 Management Moves to Avoid
6. 'My Hands are Tied!'
Challenge: An employee expects a big raise that isn't really deserved.
A lousy manager ... avoids conflict by citing unverifiable conditions or forces (e.g. "salary guidelines," "our investors") which prevent him from doing what he'd "really love to do, if it were possible." Such statements are always vague.
Better approach: Level with the employee about the real reason that the big raise isn't forthcoming and work on a plan to improve the employee's performance.