How to Respond to Raise and Promotion Requests

As working individuals, it’s natural for us to seek rooms for improvement and development which equates to a better you.

A significant part of any managers or supervisors’ role is to manage employee development and engagement, may it be on a micro level or within their respective departments. Successful managers possess high levels of emotional intelligence, among other important managerial traits, in order to get the best out of their employees, and to stop their best performers from leaving.

They are also the people who constantly root for their employees and teammates so that they can achieve development. A fine example is salary raises and promotion requests. How do managers respond to such?

As managers and supervisors, it is important for you to be mindful and aware of the company and its “rules and regulations.” These are the bare minimum that you have to understand and remember:

  • Evaluate your employee on salary, workload, benefits, career development and more.
  • The importance of setting expectations for each employee as these serve as their compasses in their career journey
  • You have to be a master of your company’s policies and procedures

With the right amount of preparation and knowledge, you can respond to raise and promotion requests in the right way. So bring out those notepads and take notes from the following tips!

1. Recognizing that the concern exists and you see it as essential

Asking for a raise or a promotion requires much confidence and strength. However, going deeper, one must know their performance before stepping up for such.

How do you make the employee feel that you recognize the concern and that you understand its importance to them? You can say the following:

“I am certain that you will not bring this up if it is not necessary and something you thought about for a while.”

“Thank you for bringing this concern to me.”

“I understand how you feel about it…”

2. Test the reasoning or just simply ask to expound

Of course, concerns like these need logical and rational reasoning as it involves legal matters and changes in employment dynamics. When asking, make sure you don’t make the person feel that you are questioning them personally.

How do you test someone’s reasoning and careful evidences of the concern, particularly salary raise and/or promotion? You can say any of the following:

“Tell me why you feel this way”

“Have you reviewed the policies regarding this?”

“Can you enlighten me more about your achievements?”

3. Make a mental timeline, but don’t give an exact date— there’s no assurance!

A mental timeline enables you have to acknowledge and make the employee feel that their concern is being understood and will be addressed. This also helps you allot time to deliberate and think thoroughly about the effect of your response on the employee and the department and company dynamics as a whole.

How do you make someone not feel rejected with a pinch of hope? You can say any of the following:

“I shall look into this, and I will get back to you on or before…”

“I would have to consult HR, so I can get back to you as soon as possible.”

“It might take a few weeks, but I will do my best to expedite it.”

4. Make sure you walk the talk

Walking the talk is a challenge to many people, those who promise and never fulfill. When you walk the talk, it means that you do not eat what you say. Hence, each action is expected to have an outstanding or at least, a productive outcome. Stick to your word and make sure you don’t wait for the employee to mention it again!

How do you ensure that you will do what you say? You can say any of the following:

“I would like to be honest, the soonest i can get back to you is 2 weeks.”

“I have placed a reminder in my calendar about it.”

“I have checked from the HR that they can release a statement within a day through email.”

5. Make your move

This is essential because this is like the key to the door. If you do not move, chances are, your employees won’t be promoted and won’t receive what they deserve. As managers and supervisors, it is your sole purpose to achieve that as well as the company’s. It will always be your responsibility, because you are supposed to guide your people apart from the company’s thrust. You have to make a move, because this is like an assignment due tomorrow!

How do you show that you are taking it seriously and making progress from time to time?

“Here are updates from our timeline about your concern.”

“I see you as one of the best employees. I can endorse this to the boss.”

“I was able to contact HR before carefully reviewing your concerns. Allow me to help you.”

We hope you find this guide useful for your managerial career. It is essential to evaluate your employees’ raise or promotion requests carefully. Even if you decide to reject their requests after your evaluation, it is imperative that you do so tactfully and and are clear on the reasons why, in order to keep those employees engaged and motivated.


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