Nigel Simmons

March 3, 2020

How to manage salary and bonus conversations

Anemployee’s performance is inextricably linked to their salary and bonus.However, discussing the two together can lead to the employee

focusingonly on the conversation about pay. As such, managers should discussperformance in a separate meeting prior to any discussion about pay or bonuses.This ensures that both conversations are heard clearly by the employee, andexpectations can be managed, prior to any conversation about compensation.


Whena salary and bonus conversation gets tough, it is often because an employee isnot getting the information they need or the manager feels that they can’tanswer certain questions. Managers need to have key information to hand such as pay scales for the various roles across the business, details regardingpotential for pay increases or promotions and any other key information such ascompany performance and how this has affected the salary and bonus figures thisyear etc.


If a salary and bonus conversation is not going well, managers should spend moretime listening to the employee in order to understand where they are coming from,what their concerns are etc.


There is often a lot to be gained by managers who are curious when it comes to having toughpay-related conversations. For example, they might learn that an employee feelsthat their job has not been correctly benchmarked against competitors or thewider market.


More often thannot, a challenging conversation around salary and bonus will require a followup meeting, giving managers an opportunity to come back with more facts andsecure a positive outcome with the employee.



To find out more about how we work with growth focused SMEs, have a look here. Or you can call Acconomy on 01202 678 993, or even email Nigel directly on


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