I own a small electrical company and have been blessed with LOTS of work. Almost too busy. With the three employees and myself we are barely keeping up with the demand. One of my workers is asking for an early raise which he is scheduled to receive in a couple months. I told him I'd think about it. About a week goes by and he says that another company contacted him and he says they offered him what he was asking for. At first I was pissed that he should put me in this position but need some advice on how to handle this.
First, I'm glad your employee feels comfortable enough to ask; most folks are too scared to even pose the question.
I think this is an opportunity to show your true leadership skills and probe: there may be an underlying problem that you don't know about but he might want to share and you could help.
I've run businesses, created startups and done turnarounds for over 30 years. I like people and I think businesses are great places for people to learn and grow.
So, why not ask..."Hi, Jim, about that early raise...right now, I don't see a problem but may I ask what's going on that prompts this need? Perhaps, there's a better way to solve a problem and I'd feel good about helping you." Get him to open up and listen.
Once you've heard what needs to be said, you might creatively go about solving the problem that needs fixing. As I said, this is a great opportunity.
And, if he's shopping around for the "right" pay grade, maybe there's something missing for him in the job. Find out what it is.
Electrical company? Supplies or are you doing electrical work?
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