Don't gloss over a request for a pay increase

June 10, 2012

The topic of raises will come up from time to time in your practice. Learn why you shouldn't just ignore or give in to requests.

Q: My best nurse wants a raise, and I'm not sure how to handle the request. She does a great job for me, but I already pay her what I believe is a very generous salary. How should I proceed?

On the other hand, if doctors and managers have done their homework, they know what the competitive market rate for each employee is and use that information in annual reviews, so the nurse should be reminded of that fact. At the same time, the physician shouldn't just gloss over the request. You can be right and still lose in this situation. Assuming that your compensation package is competitive, you can change the subject by opening the dialogue a bit. Try something like: "As you know, I'm very careful to pay everyone who works here fairly. So, it sounds to me as if something else is bothering you. Is there anything else I can help you with?"

Answers to readers' questions were provided by Judy Bee, Practice Performance Group, La Jolla, California. She is also an editorial consultant for Medical Economics. Send your practice management questions to medec@advanstar.com Also engage at http://www.twitter.com/MedEconomics and http://www.facebook.com/MedicalEconomics.