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Wage increase for your staff? Why or why not?

I have heard quite a few conversations about whether bosses ought to increase the pay of those of their staff who have been with them for many years. One such conversation concerned a chef who had been with the company for more than ten years but who was still being paid a monthly wage of $1400 when other newcomers were getting more than $2000 within a year. The manager of the said chef had put up the proposal for the chef’s basic salary to be raised to $1800, an increase of $400 per month. The owner of the company had said no problem, he would be willing to give the chef the wage increase, but there was no increase even after three months.

If you were the owner of that company, what would you have done? What considerations would have come up before you? Is long and faithful service a consideration for wage increase? How about inflation and the rising cost of living with time? Did the chef’s output increase in value over time? In short, would it have made sense for the owner to increase wages over time regardless of any increase in value output? What would a HR person say?

Other considerations would be whether the company had a culture of Human Capital Development. Was the said chef encouraged to expand her repertoire of dishes? Were various ways of raising her value explored? What if the chef professed contentment with her income because she only wanted to work for the same number of hours and produce the same limited spread of dishes? I’ve known a few people like that. People who refused promotion or being posted elsewhere in the company or organization because they did not want to change their work circumstances and environment. Would the owner be justified retaining the chef under the same conditions?

The answers seem straightforward, don’t they? One thing is for certain. If owners and other business leaders treat staff like a harmoniously functioning family, staff would be encouraged to grow together with the company. Some people think they would like pay increases constantly, commensurate with their increased value to the company because of their higher and better output. Others may be content with preparing wonderfully-tasting noodle dishes for twenty years and nothing else. Do you see your staff as being one with you and your company? Decisions concerning wages become much easier when you have that mindset.

Go ahead, establish and maintain a value-increasing culture in your company. The one who will be experiencing greater satisfaction would be yourself.


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