While there are many employees who will state that they are working purely for the joy of being your employee, as a manager and employer it must be obvious to you that unless your employee is a masochistic of the highest order, they are truly there to survive.
As Maslow’s hierarchy of needs makes clear, people do work for a variety of reasons, but some of the lowest and most important are the needs of Safety and employment, including the payment for such falls into this goal. This goal is only superseded by that of ultimate survival so it has a significant impact on how you deal with an employee and how they deal with you.
Now while it could be said that an employee knows what they are getting before they sign on the bottom line and take that new role, you will often find – especially in today’s economy – that there are many employees who are either overqualified for their present role and have taken a lower paying role simply because there was nothing else, or even those that while satisfied with their initial salary will be unsatisfied if and when the company is unable to pay an increase in line with inflation after an annual review.
If you have employees that fall into either of these camps, it is imperative that you deal with these issues as quickly as possible and in the right manner as making mistakes here, will only harm your relationship with your employee.
DEALING WITH AN OVERQUALIFIED EMPLOYEE
Dealing with an employee that is overqualified for the role is actually easier than you might assume. While it might be difficult to manage someone who has more seniority than you do and in some ways possibly knows your role and responsibilities better than you do, as long as you are respectful and understand the circumstances of how and why that person ended up where they did you will get along fine.
To motivate and manage this employee who is not only earning less than he likely was before, but is also doing less interesting and challenging work than he was earlier, you need to give them as much of what they used to have as you can. Simply put – give them more challenging roles than other members of your team, give them an opportunity to take charge of projects and lead the team and let them be your backup if and when you need one.
If your company offers advancement opportunities this is something that you want to encourage this employee to embrace and go for. If you treat them correctly they might easily become your replacement allowing you to grow in the company which is very much a win-win.
DEALING WITH COMPANY POLICY AND ANNUAL INCREASES
Unfortunately many companies in today’s economy have taken steps to either curtail annual increases or in some cases force their staff to take paycuts if they want to retain their roles. While this might make sense from a purely financial viewpoint and in ensuring that the employee retains a job versus having to search for a new role, it definitely does not make life easy for the employee as the expenses they have in their life will not go down simply because the money they are receiving goes down.
From a companies perspective they are able to keep qualified and skilled people in the roles that they know and are good at, at a discounted rate. While they might be able to save money by terminating the employee and hiring someone from the street at a significant paycut, they have rightly realized that there are costs involved in hiring and training and once those costs are taken into account, the savings might not be as large as initially thought.
For the employee however, there is no easy fix. Expenses as mentioned remain the same and ensuring that your employee is able to meet those expenses is not something that you can really be responsible for. There are things that you can do however to perhaps reduce those expenses somewhat.
REMOTE WORKING -
Many employees, especially those in service industries, are able to do their role while away from the office. If you are able to provide your employees with a way to do their job while away from the office, they will be able to save money on transport costs and possibly on meals and entertainment which they would normally be spending. While this might not be a signficant amount of money, it is something that could help.
Make sure that your employees receive appropriate healthcare benefits if offered by your company but even more, make sure that they take their holiday’s. For some reason many employees feel they are “indespensable” and end up not taking their annual holidays. If you want your employee to be useful to you, you need to ensure that they are well rested and happy and while you might not be able to give them money, you can give them rest and time away from the office.
Motivation in your team is your role as a Manager. You need to keep that uppermost and keep your people happy as if you are able to do this, some of the other problems in their life will not bother them as much.