7 Questions for the Boss

A few months ago (maybe 6 months, maybe 120 months, I ain’t tellin’) I asked someone what they wanted, and they said, “A raise,” which I found slightly exasperating. I mean, don’t we all? Given the context, it was even more annoying–they were whiny about it. I followed up with: “How would you go about getting that raise?”

“Welllll, I’ve been here long enough.”

Not what I asked, but I played along: “What does that mean?”

“People who have not been here as long as me have gotten raises. I want a raise. I’ve been here long enough.” This was said in that unmistakable, unspoken, teenage-like duuuuuuuhhhh tone–the one that turns otherwise nice parents into drunken brawlers.

Because I have the spiritual gift of sarcasm, I replied, “Well, I’ve earned every raise I’ve ever received.” This kind of stopped the conversation, which I now regret. (But not too much.)

If I had it to do over, I’d ask them to think about some questions they might ask their boss to set themselves up for a raise. In the case of which I am referring, this might have led to a protracted silence, but at least they’d have stopped whining. It might also have led to me learning something.

With the latter in mind, please consider my list of seven questions for the boss:

  1. What do you see as the biggest barrier to our company’s success?
  2. How can I help remove that barrier?
  3. If you could do anything, what’s an area of business you’d like to grow?
  4. What would need to happen for us to exploit that opportunity?
  5. How can I help with that?
  6. If you were me, what would you focus on for the next 90 days?
  7. Can we meet in a month to discuss my progress and challenges on that (focus) area?

It seems to me that the people who get a raise demonstrate value to the organization before they get the raise. They tend to care more about the whole than themselves. They makes things easy on others. They care little about longevity and much about results.

Please comment below.


About jacksbuzz

I help people get what they want.
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3 Responses to 7 Questions for the Boss

  1. Misty Salas says:

    Jack, I think this is great advice for some Questions to ask! It will help to get an understanding of what skills or expertise is lacking, what I could be focusing more on, or maybe find that there is not enough communication with expectations on both ends…These questions definitely open the door for enlightened feedback!
    Per Scott’s comment: Maybe setting goals and follow-up on the progress can help keep team motivated and on point when transitioning to a higher pay/raise…?

  2. Scott Leon says:

    These are good questions. In my opinion, actions are louder then words… I have had employees say the right things to warrent a raise, but after a raise they lose there “team” motivation.. Then I become upset about them making more then the possition is worth.

  3. Amparo Luna says:

    Great Read Jack! I think raises are sometimes tricky, but it’s hard for any employer to disregard an employee that has a “giver” mentality. When your mindset is how can I help? What can I do to make things better? That’s reflected in your work and your attitude then raises usually follow you and catch up. 🙂

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