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Raises Are Earned, Not Given


by Glenn Shepard
October 7, 2014

Category:  Management

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Dear Glenn,


I’m looking for some advice in regards to your article on gut instinct.

   What do you recommend doing if an employee portrays a great deal, or possibly all of these characteristics?

    You never really know for sure who is capable of carrying out acts of violence, but is there a proactive solution to address individuals that are suspect?


Matt in Illinois



Dear Matt,


Good for you for listening to your gut instinct.

   Start by clicking here to go to the FBI's page on identifying a workplace killer.

     If it sounds familiar, call your local police department's non emergency number, ask to speak to the Chief in confidence, and ask for his or her advice.

     I've spoken at numerous criminal justice conferences and can assure you that police chiefs all across the country are well trained on this issue.

    Thanks for your question and good luck.


Glenn in Nashville, TN

Click the red button to submit a question. If yours is selected, you'll win your choice of the "I'm the Boss, Not the Babysitter" or "Work Is Not for Sissies"  coffee mug.

I heard a clerk at a retail store say, “They don’t pay me enough to do this job”.


He believed that if he was paid more, he’d do a better job.


But he's putting the cart before the horse.


A person who won’t give 100% at a job that pays minimum wage, won’t give 100% at a job that pays $250,000 a year.


Conversely, a person who gives 100% when making minimum wage won’t be making minimum wage very long.


The first principle professionals learn in marketing is that success will come only when they can answer the WIFM question for the consumer, which is “What’s In It For Me?”


Employers are no different.


They're consumers of the time, labor, and expertise employees are selling. Companies don’t give a new employee a paycheck on his first day, and then hope he’ll stick around long enough to earn it.


The employee first has to earn it, and is rewarded with a paycheck afterward.


Raises work the same way.


Only after an employee has demonstrated that their value to their employer has increased will the employer consider paying more.


Many young people entering the work force for the first time are telling employers they "Deserve" a raise after being at the job for six months, just because they’ve been at the job for six months.


But as an article in USA Today pointed out, it’s not their fault. When they were growing up, they got trophies just for showing up.


This was summed up best in the 2004 movie “Meet the Fockers” when Dustin Hoffman was proudly showing off the trophies of his adult son, played by Ben Stiller, to his father-in-law to be, Robert Deniro.


Deniro said “I didn’t know they made ninth place ribbons”, to which Hoffman replied “They have them for up to 10th place too! There’s also a bunch on the ‘A for Effort’ shelf”.


We've conditioned the youngest members of the workforce to expect to be rewarded for mere participation, instead of actual achievement. As a manager, you have to literally “reprogram” the way some of them think.



To Your Success ,



Glenn Shepard




P.S. Nominations for the 2014 Glenn Shepard Excellence in Leadership Award are now being judged. Ten finalists will be chosen on 10/15/14.




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