Sitrep: So a week or two ago, my business unit manager came to my desk and whispered that I'll get a salary raise of [enter amount].

What is questioning me? This is done verbally, but I feel like it's anything but official. My business unit manager could just be saying this, but is it intended? Also, he could be saying something like a 200 dollar raise, but I could just be saying I understood a raise of 2000 dollar? When will I expect this raise?

My question: Should my salary raise not be put on paper to make it official?

Reasoning: My business manager is not that trustworthy as in he is a micro manager, bossing, doesn't acknowledge your work unless you're part of the 'inner circle', but I have made up my mind and am planning to move on and find new challenges elsewhere. I just want to know how salary raises are done the right way. By the looks of the answers below, I assume that salary raises need to be put on paper so that there are no misunderstandings. For now, I'll just wait till the end of this month and see if I notice any differences. If not, I'll kindly ask my business manager if it needs to be put on paper and when I should expect my raise he promised (verbally).

  • 3
    What's the purpose of this question? You were told you'll get a raise. Presumably you'll see that on your next paycheck. If you don't, you ask why. What kind of bizarre scenario would involve you claiming you were promised a higher raise? Why on earth would you think your manager would say this without meaning it?
    – Lilienthal
    Jan 16 '17 at 10:25
  • @Lilienthal: The index is raised this year. So therefor my paycheck will be a bit higher without a raise, compared to last year. So with this raise it will get even higher. Because my manager told I get a raise and it's not put on paper, I don't want the manager to assume me to think the index is my so called raise. That's why.
    – WaikeCU
    Jan 16 '17 at 11:03
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    Is your real question then whether this promised raise is a real raise or just your manager passing off the index as a raise? This all simply seems like a question to ask your manager and given that you never asked for a raise it would be weird to now require it in writing without giving them a chance to actually apply the raise.
    – Lilienthal
    Jan 16 '17 at 11:06
  • 1
    The old saying "If it isn't in writing, it isn't so." applies to this scenario.
    – Neo
    Jan 16 '17 at 15:48
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    'Whispered that I'll be getting a pay raise' is about the least official way of telling you, short of getting Susie to tell Clarissa to tell Amy to tell you about it behind the bike sheds. Jan 16 '17 at 19:31

My question: Should my salary raise not be put on paper to make it official?

The only way it becomes official is when it appears in your paycheck. A piece of paper won't change that.

You could have said "Hey, that would be terrific, thanks! When should I look for that raise in my check?" and it would have been clearer.


Put simply, a verbal agreement is not worth the paper it's printed on.

Until this is confirmed in writing, there is no requirement for the company to honour it. In addition, without an agreed date on the document, it's still not enforcable.

I would suggest dropping an email to your boss to "thank" them. asking how much it will be and when it will be in place. If it's a real offer, you should get a reply fairly swiftly.


In principle, if that business unit manager has the right to change your salary, then the verbal message would mean your salary is increased - the problems are that you can't prove it, and that this manager might only have told you what he thought was happening and might have been wrong. He might have heard where salary raises were discussed, thought by mistake he heard your name, and wanted to tell you the good news.

Your salary is really changed either if you have the increase in writing, or if the company actually pays you more money (of course increasing your pay without telling you would be rare and would indicate that the company is badly organised).

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