The act of giving an employee a raise doesn't just signify your recognition of their talent and achievements; it signals your faith in them to keep up the good work and do their part in moving your business forward.
Instead of handing them a written notice or an email, use this opportunity to reinforce the reasons why you made this decision. A formal announcement with a clear explanation is a great way to underscore your values as well as what you expect from them in the future. And done well, it's also incredibly motivating for your employee.
Eight entrepreneurs from Young Entrepreneur Council (YEC) share the creative ways they offer raises to deserving employees.
1. Position it in a way that continues to reinforce great work.
Highlighting specific examples of when an employee went above and beyond, and then tying that back to a raise can prove to your employees that you are fully aware of their accomplishments and that they will be rewarded for achievements. Giving a raise just because your organization is successful without tying it back to hard work you can sometimes unintentionally reward poor performance.--Robert Lee, Circa Interactive Inc
2. Make a formal announcement.
Announce the raise formally, not just in passing. Say why the employee earned it, and explain any additional responsibilities that will be expected. Don't forget to congratulate them on a job well done.--Andrew Schrage, Money Crashers Personal Finance
3. Be specific in your explanation.
Explain specifically what he or she has done to deserve it. I have a friend who worked at a huge corporation who told me that her manager simply told her, "Everyone at your level gets a raise after a year, so here's you raise." She was incredibly demotivated by this. Discuss what he or she has done that adds more value to the company and why an increase in compensation is in order because of it.--Kelsey Meyer, Influence & Co.
4. Discuss face-to-face.
Whether it is in-person, on a video chat or by phone, it's great for an employee to hear they are getting a raise from their superior personally than by email or letter. This provides an opportunity to have a personal exchange, including commending them for specific things they have done for the business that warrants the raise. Doing so makes it a much more engaging experience.--Angela Ruth, eCash
5. Surprise them.
The best way to tell an employee that they're getting a raise is to surprise them. This takes away any anticipation or expectation, and instead makes them feel flattered and valued. Surprising them at a low point of the week will only increase this -- a Monday morning has to be the optimum time. -Marvin Amberg, Caseable
6. Hold a company meeting.
It is always useful to leverage opportunities like this to the max. Hold a company meeting, invite everybody and publicly announce who is exceeding expectations and getting a raise. It gives the others something to aspire to and you get some free publicity among your employees. The boss doesn't always have to play the "bad guy."--Charles Moscoe, eFin
7. Tell them what led you to your decision to promote them.
When it's time to reward a good employee, you should always let them know what merits you've based your decision on. This lets them know the direction you think they should continue on for both your personal preferences as well as the needs of the company. Give very clear feedback such as, "I'm very impressed with...and therefore..." during a face-to-face meeting.--Nicole Munoz, Start Ranking Now
8. Give them a day off and a dinner.
I would tell the employee on a Thursday that they would have the day off on Friday or Monday (their choice), give them a dinner gift certificate so that they can go to dinner with the spouse or partner. I'd then tell them specifically why they were getting a raise, and voice my appreciation for the time and commitment they have given to the company.--Derek Capo, eFin