Customer Experience News & Trends

16 unbelievable sacrifices your employees will make for 10% raise

When employees are happier, customers tend to be happier. And the key to employee happiness is usually their wallets. So here are some colorful examples of just how badly employees want to make a little more money. 

LendEDU, an online marketplace for student loan refinancing, recently polled 1,238 employees in the U.S. to find out what exactly they’d sacrifice for a 10% increase in pay.

The answers may surprise you — but they could also be a window into just how happy (or unhappy) they are with their current pay. After all, the bigger the sacrifice they’re willing to make, the more money they feel they need to be happy at work.

Who needs to vote anyway?

Sixteen things employees said they’d give up for a 10% raise (ranked by how many said they’d sacrifice it):

  • 88.6% would stop watching “Game of Thrones” for life
  • 73.4% would give up all alcoholic beverages for the next five years
  • 55.9% would work an extra 10 hours per week for life (at least you’d get more work in return for paying the employees more)
  • 53.5% would give up all social media for five years
  • 50.7% would give up watching movies for the next three years
  • 50.4% would work one day every weekend for the next year (again, at least you, and hopefully your customers, would reap the rewards employees’ extra work would bring)
  • 47.7% would give up all caffeinated products for the next two years
  • 43.8% would give up exercise for the next five years
  • 40% would give up dental care for the next five years
  • 34.9% would “give up the right to vote in all elections for life”
  • 18.9% would give up access to health insurance for the next five years
  • 17.9% would give up Social Security benefits for the next two years
  • 15.2% would give up all of their vacation days for the next five years
  • 12.2% would break up with their partner or significant other
  • 9.1% would give up their child’s or future child’s right to vote in all elections for life, and
  • 5.3% would eat a single Tide Pod.

No room in the budget?

Unfortunately, employers today don’t have the extra cash lying around to pony up a raise that large for employees. So, what can you do? Let employees down as tactfully as you can if they ask for a raise.

Here are four tactics our sister website, HR Morning, recommends to minimize the damage when employees ask for raises you simply can’t give them:

1. Consider the request. A hasty denial is a sure-fire way to offend or insult the employee. Reason: It looks like the request is simply being blown off. Instead, allow the employee to make his or her case, while listening attentively.

2. Go over the details. Has the employee taken on more responsibilities that you weren’t aware of? Has his or her pay fallen well below the market rate? Even if you can’t bump up pay right now, it’s good to have that info on file.

3. Break down the decision. Carefully explain why the raise request can’t be fulfilled, and offer details if performance is a major factor. Good employees appreciate honest feedback. If an employee needs to bolster performance to earn a raise in the future, give that staffer the information and resources they need to hit their goals.

4. Close on a high note. Let the employee know you appreciate the initiative he or she took with the request, and do what you can to lift the person’s understandably low spirits before he or she leaves the meeting.

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