The Power of What Else

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The Power of What Else by Beverly Crowell

In a New York Times article, Beverly Kaye, founder of Career Systems International, was quoted on the manager dilemma when employees ask for a raise and there are no raises to give. Instead of simply saying no or running from the conversation, managers are encouraged to ask, “What else is important to you?”

It seems like a simple question, so why is it so hard to ask? First, managers are often apprehensive to continue the conversation once the topic of money has come up. Google “talking about money” and the word that follows closely behind is “fear.” The topic of money and pay can be a scary proposition for managers if they assume money is all employees care about. Good news however, it’s not all about the money.

What does matter? According to a study by Career Systems International of over 17,000 employees, money does not even rank in the top three. What does? Exciting work and challenges; career growth, learning and development; and working with great people and having great relationships at work. Fair pay ranks in the fourth spot.

Pay is important, but it’s not what matters most. That’s why the question, “What else is important to you” is right on the money. Don’t assume that money is all that matters. If an employee asks you for a raise, talk about it and then ask, “What else?” Employees – don’t leave your leaders hanging in the wind. You know there’s more to work than the paycheck at the end of the week. Identify what matters most to you, share it with your manager and strive to get more of it at work every day.

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