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I've got a 10% raise for an employee approved, but it starts from when he is going to make 1 year with us (which is in a couple of months). But the usual compensation talks period for the whole company is this month. Should I have a meeting with him now and inform him that he will get a raise? Or should I postpone this meeting closer to the date he'll actually get it?

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    What do you believe the downsides of telling him early are? – Lio Elbammalf May 29 at 8:42
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It depends on the company policy. Usually you will get confirmation from HR or your management on when its OK to share. Once you have the confirmation, you can discuss. Since you have mentioned the usual period is this whole month, just double check with HR/ Management once and communicate this.

If no one replies to you, in that case, its better to communicate that raises have been approved but avoid the numbers or quantum of approval till you get a confirmation. It may also be helpful to talk to some seasoned managers in the organization to confirm what has been the norm in the past for the communication.

It is common for the raises to be shared a month or two before they are applicable. However, a go ahead is only given once the budget has been approved by the senior management, typically at CEO level.

One more thing to check is when other members of your department are getting the communication. If everyone else knows their numbers ( that should also include you if you are eligible) and you skip your direct reports, it will also lead to unnecessary tension. People will assume they are not getting hikes. So its important to share the communication around the same time when everyone else is getting it.

Kindly ensure that you communicate the effective date of the raise to avoid any confusion, particularly with the new joiners who may not be aware on how the raises work in your organization.

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I disagree with other answers on telling him early or telling him now.

Unless you can give him a official revised salary letter indicating the new salary and raise, you should just tell him that his compensation will be discussed when he completes an year. Do not indicate raise leave alone the amount of raise.

While 2 months is short time, it could be long enough for financial decisions to be reversed due to some unforeseen circumstances.

  • In that case the employee would be absolutely pissed off; I would leave ASAP if that happened. Basically everyone would have got a raise except him, because he joined at the wrong time. – gnasher729 May 29 at 12:49
  • +1 for informing him it will actually be discussed at the end of his first year. He is part of the company, he can't be left out from a process advertised to be for every employee. – Tryb Ghost May 29 at 13:21
  • I had this happen to me at a previous employer. I was told I was getting a raise in June. Based on this I bought a new car as the raise was about a car payment. Then was told the raise was not happening for "financial reasons". This was at one of the largest banks in the country, I was laid off from this employer 7 months later. I was given an even larger raise on my last day which wen into effect for my 12½ severance period. These guys really did not know what they were doing. – JazzmanJim May 29 at 15:07
  • @gnasher729 That may be the case but I think he will be less pissed off than what he can be if something promised is reversed. Also, it is not like "everyone except him", it is 'everyone except those who are in their first year". Lot of companies I worked for handled first year raises differently. Everything is on the companywide cycle after completing one year. (Although not sure if that is the case with OP's company) – PagMax May 30 at 4:26
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If HR has given you orders, do what they say.

Otherwise, everyone will know that raises will be discussed. The new employee may assume that they are the only one left out if you don’t talk to them, with negative consequences for motivation, jealousy and so on. Easy to avoid by giving them the news at the same time as everyone else.

  • 'The new employee may assume that they are the only one left out if you don’t talk to them' - Not necessarily. Reasonable people will know they are only there for less than a year, so they won't expect raises so early - or maybe even not at all. – Battle May 29 at 10:15
  • Nonsense. This company is actually unusual. Either everyone gets a raise every anniversary of their start date, so raises go through the year, or everyone gets his on the same day, with newcomers getting a pro-rated raise. – gnasher729 May 29 at 12:51
  • So what if you are 5 months employed to the time of the year, still within probation time? What if it's 6? 7? 8? Or just 2, 3, 4? Where do you draw the line? What if there is effectively a second probation time of 12 months, in which the employer can still decide to continue to contract or not? The most reasonable thing is to not expect any raises during the probation time(s), but to expect a larger scale talk at the end of these 12 months, in which some form of evaluation and negotiation can occur. Then you let the employee shift into the yearly period, regardless if it's 1 or 11 months. – Battle May 29 at 13:05
  • Where, of course, if the time difference is too short, and nothing relevant occurred, you keep things as they were recently discussed. The idea of "feeling like being the only one left out" is actually nonsense - unless that employee is actually neglected in these regards for more than a year, or even two. – Battle May 29 at 13:15
  • @Battle "Where do you draw the line?" That's daft. You give one twelvth of the annual raise for every month the person is there. Very simple. And if you don't do it that way, you have a problem the next year - unless everyone gets their salary adjusted on every anniversary of the joining the company. – gnasher729 May 29 at 18:54
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Nothing erodes trust in management as quickly as a broken promise. But leaving him entirely in the dark is likely to make him feel overlooked or ignored.

I would suggest you schedule a short meeting in which you ensure that he has all the details that you can give him (reiterate company policy, etc), without risking a broken promise. HR should be able to advise you on this*. If you can't give him a certain answer today, schedule a second meeting around his anniversary. During the initial meeting you only tell him he's being considered for a raise (and under what conditions he may or may not get it). It is the best you can do for him, and he'll probably see it as an honest and respectable gesture.

*HR and payroll will have more details about the process. If the raise is already approved and processed, so that he is guaranteed to get it automatically after his 1-year anniversary, then you may be able to tell him safely. If it is subject to his performance in the coming months, or if a policy change could lead to the raise being scrapped, then you must be careful.

  • I agree with this answer. If the raise that has been approved is due to the employee's performance in the last year, explain that their raise will go into effect, after their service date (the date they joined). If you can tell them, how many pay periods after that date they will see the raise, I am sure they will appreciate that information. – Donald May 29 at 13:48

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