My Employees Want More Money. I Have None.

My employees say they are underpaid, and the thing is, they are right. Salaries are rising, and I cannot keep up. (I’m not one of those CEOs making millions — my take-home pay is less than my vice president’s pay.) Pre-pandemic, their salaries were at market rate, and the business was profitable. But the continued shutdowns hurt us, and now I don’t know what to do. Close the business? Hope my employees stay and we regain what we lost? Give them raises and take no salary myself? (I have bills too!) Help!

To read the answer, click here: My Employees Want More Money. I Have None.

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2 thoughts on “My Employees Want More Money. I Have None.

  1. “When people talk about greedy CEOs—” we really are talking about the greedy ones.

    These are all good suggestions if you can’t raise salaries. Some people might still bail, but at least you’re making a good-faith effort to make things better for your employees. If they do need to leave for greener pastures, you can offer to give them a good reference.

  2. All of the suggestions were good. Especially No. 1. My former employer is actually looking at renting out the office space they own and doing permanent work from home.

    Another good perk is time off. I’ve worked at places that give the week between Christmas and NYE off (and don’t require staff to use vacation to cover it) and also offer optional summer Friday off schedules. Too many companies burned out their staff last year so not being stingy with the time off will reflect well on you.

    You may also have to accept that your company may not be able to compete with larger companies that can offer better pay. Consider that your company might be just a stepping stone for some employees’ careers. By providing good references and staying in contact, you’ll help retain a good image in their minds (there are managers who take it personally will employees quit and move on…don’t be that manager!). And who knows? One day, one of those larger companies that a former staff member works at might want to become a client or even buy your company.

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