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7 Ways to Handle an Employee’s Request for a Pay Raise

7 Ways to Handle an Employee’s Request for a Pay Raise

Do you feel uncomfortable when an employee asks for a pay increase? Most leaders do.  Pause for a moment and ask yourself:  how to you think the employee felt asking? If you think it’s likely they were nervous or uncomfortable, you are right. Most people are stressed and feeling emotional when they make such requests. 

Begin with that in mind and let that understanding temper your response. At the same time, asking for an increase is very common, so it is wise to be prepared for when it happens.  Most important is to take the request seriously and respectfully.

You do not have to answer right away, as it’s most important to understand why the employee is asking for a change in compensation. Is it because they feel their pay is unfair in comparison to their peers, are they considering another offer, or have they recently had great success with a key project? Here are some methods to ensure that your conversation is smooth and provides a win-win for both sides: 

Pay raise conversations are natural for every company. Discover how you can best navigate with these seven tips.

Ask for more information: Ask open-ended questions to gain insight and show the employee that you are listening. You might start with, “Why do you feel this way?” Listen closely. Don’t argue or interrupt. Try to truly understand their logic and their emotions and listen for potential misinformation. 

Clarify information that is clearly inaccurate: For example, is the employee basing their perception of under-compensation on a publicly published salary survey? Offer to set up a meeting with Human Resources so that the employee can understand what salary data they use to set pay scales. On the other hand, do not dispute facts you are uncertain about. If you really don’t know, tell the employee that you do not currently have that information on-hand and will need to research. 

Ask for time: Do not go down the budget “rabbit-hole.” If you say you will have to review the budget, employees will assume you are agreeing they deserve a raise and will expect action. Instead, commit to a reasonable timeframe to get back to them.

Do your homework:  Consider the employee’s pay against numerous factors, including discriminatory patterns based on gender or other demographics, their performance compared with their peers, an analysis of their pay to the market, the employee’s past pay increase history, alternatives to base pay increases such as a one-time bonus, or timing of the salary raise request. It’s also helpful to know when  the next companywide formal pay review. 

Learn 5 Steps that Will Ignite Your Business Culture and Inspire Employees to Drive and Sustain Growth

Plan your response: According to the Harvard Business Review, companies do a very poor job of communicating why raises are denied. They either provide no information or provide vague information that impacts trust and credibility. Organizations also do a poor job of telling employees why their request is being honored. Plan out your response, including the reasons for your decision, and run it by someone you trust. 

Point out any positives: Even if you cannot give a raise to a key employee, make sure they know you value them. Tell them you think they have a bright future and that the company is not in a position to give an increase at the moment. Concurrently, examine other ways to increase job satisfaction and provide growth opportunities with the chance to shine. 

Be honest when performance Is the issue: Sometimes, a pay raise is denied because of a performance management issue. It’s important to let employees know that to be considered for a pay increase, there are things they need to work on. (Hopefully, this is not the first time you have shared these concerns!) Point out specifically what they need to address and how you can support them. Set some clear milestones and dates for review, where the topic of a pay raise may be had under better circumstances. 

Compensation is an emotional topic, not simply a budgetary consideration. Handling such discussions well is the mark of a strong manager. By preparing well, leveraging your alliance with HR, and ensuring a culture of transparency between you and your reports, you can continue to maintain an environment of high performance where success is rewarded. 

Learn more about Oracle's talent management capabilities and contact us if you have any questions. 

Read more 7 Ways to Handle an Employee’s Request for a Pay Raise
Source: Oracle HCM

Customer Experience Principles in Human Capital Management

Customer Experience Principles in Human Capital Management

Famous for family movies, theme parks and a cute mouse, Walt Disney also knew a thing or two about building great customer experiences. Even though his death was more than a half-century ago, his wisdom lives on. Here’s one of his quotes:

“Do what you do so well that they will want to see it again and bring their friends.”

If Walt was alive today, his thoughts on customer experience would be more sought than ever, especially with consumers expecting so much from the companies they patronize. As the New York Times noted in an article titled, They Changed the Way You Buy Your Basics, “between 2013 and 2017, some $17 billion in sales shifted from big consumer brands to small brands,” and “one report on the 100 top consumer product brands found that 90 percent had lost market share in recent years.”

Low tolerance, indeed.

There are many different areas to consider for providing an exceptional customer experience, from a seamless interface as seen through a rideshare pickup application to a single brand experience across multiple social media and web channels. Today’s brand no longer depends on a singular touchpoint. Instead, it leverages software that collects data across marketing, sales, service and commerce activities.  Successful brands have mastered these processes through a combination of automation, big data and machine learning.

This principle of seamless experiences across various touchpoints also applies to a successful company working with employees, with those channels including learning and development, talent management, talent acquisition, diversity and inclusion, and community service channels. In a solution brief linked from The Cognitive Enterprise—Powered by IBM and Oracle is a quote from IBM Chief HR Officer Diane Gherson with “our job in HR is to create that connected, transparent, mobile, personalized, searchable and 24×7 universe through our workplace and our tools.”  

Consumers demand connected experiences executed perfectly, or they’ll ditch incumbent providers. Employees expect connected experiences from the companies they work at. Both ideas pose great risk for companies that fall short of expectations, and opportunity for those that delight. Going back to Walt Disney, though he never stepped foot into a 21st century workplace, he dispensed in the quote below timeless wisdom around the importance of employees.

“You can design and create and build the most wonderful place in the world. But, it takes people to make the dream a reality.” 

Learn More

Want to learn how to apply the principles of customer experience into HR? Read about Oracle’s approach to Customer Experience or Human Capital Management and let us know if you're interested in learning more. 

Read more Customer Experience Principles in Human Capital Management
Source: Oracle HCM

How to Use Technology to Elevate the Candidate Experience

How to Use Technology to Elevate the Candidate Experience
Your people and processes should be integrated to support a personalized and engaging candidate experience. And while technology won’t solve all of the challenges associated with the candidate experience, it can certainly support it.
Read more How to Use Technology to Elevate the Candidate Experience
Source: Saba

The Value of End-to-End Finance and HR Solutions

The Value of End-to-End Finance and HR Solutions

By: Cara Clinton-Vollmer, Senior Content Manager, Oracle

The cost and complexity of enterprise resource planning (ERP) and human capital management (HCM) pose two of the most serious challenges facing large companies today, according to a recent paper from Nucleus Research. “Many companies deploy a combination of different best-of-breed solutions that deliver disparate results according to their individual directives,” Nucleus writes. “This siloed approach is problematic and produces a lack of visibility across the organization, leading to uninformed decisions, expensive errors, and wasted time.”

To address these issues, companies are starting to turn to single-vendor, end-to-end solutions such as Oracle Cloud. This helps companies share data in real-time, enable connected workflows, improve data visibility, and ultimately, empower both finance and HR to better deliver on the bottom line. 

In a recent study, Nucleus Research conducted in-depth interviews with three Oracle customers to understand the benefits of finance and HR working together on a unified cloud. Here are their stories.  

A Communications Company Breaks Down Data Silos for Improved Internal Communications 

Customer: An outdoor advertising company specializing in large-format, static and digital billboards, bus and tram advertising displays, and advertising panels on trains and railways. 

Situation: This company helps their clients communicate on a grand scale, but it had grand-scale internal communications problems of its own. Legacy system finance and HR tasks were completed using spreadsheets, leading to mistakes, lack of oversight, and poor data quality. Finance and HR departments couldn’t contribute to a high-level view of company performance because their data were housed in different systems. Integration was nearly impossible without complex, manual operations. 

Solution: After gaining a full understanding of the company’s needs, Oracle recommended a joint deployment of Oracle ERP Cloud and Oracle HCM Cloud. Now vital information is no longer trapped in silos and communications can flow quickly and easily. Data that is not entered correctly is rejected, reducing errors and improving data quality. Also, workflows that were once manual are now automated, freeing users for more value-add functions such as drilling down into data to best report on the company’s performance. Originally drawn to Oracle because of its strong security and data integrity protocols, the company particularly liked that their new software-as-a-service (SaaS) solution doesn’t require onsite infrastructure or maintenance. IT appreciates the reduced number of vendor relationships to maintain.  

“Oracle’s data security visualization capabilities have reduced the time end users spend on verification and report creation, allowing those employees to spend more time on other value-add tasks for the company.” 

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A Logistics Company Moves Faster When System Roadblocks are Removed 

Customer: A holding company for global freight shipping brands that is masterful at the intricate logistics of moving industrial, retail, and commercial goods. 

Situation: While the company could move goods from dock to door with ease, it had difficulty moving its own information out of legacy finance and HR systems, creating serious and unnecessary roadblocks to success. 

Solution: Weary from on-premise solutions that required frequent, disruptive upgrades, the organization consulted with Oracle. Knowing its reputation as an enterprise application provider with flexible timeframes for implementing software upgrades, the company purchased Oracle ERP and HCM Clouds to ensure interoperability and standardized practices. After implementation, the company quickly realized that its main benefit was standardization of the IT environment. Deploying the two products as an end-to-end solution enabled smooth sailing, as data and processes were no longer stalled by vendor or department. What’s more, the company redeployed three full-time employees who were previously responsible for managing its legacy HCM solution. Now traveling side-by-side on the same highway, finance and HR are equipped with accurate, real-time data and can collaborate seamlessly to make better decisions for the organization. 

“Oracle’s out-of-the-box interfaces helped us standardize many business processes that had been at odds with each other and enabled us to retire inefficient legacy software solutions that were slowing us down.” 

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A Company that Enables Wireless Connectivity Improves Connectivity for its Finance and HR Systems 

Customer: A subsidiary of an international communications conglomerate that specializes in construction and management of wireless infrastructure designed to expand connectivity for public safety, emergency services, transit operations, and more.

Situation: Citing high administrative costs and low employee productivity, this company needed to connect the critical functions of procurement, financials, inventory, project, invoicing, and HR into a single platform. 

Solution: Deploying Oracle ERP and HCM Clouds together helped the company completely transform its business operations. It now has full visibility of its current inventories and upcoming needs based on project pipelines. Embedded workflows save time and reduce errors—resulting in improved planning capabilities, redeployment of essential assets, and tremendous cash savings. 

“The Oracle Cloud’s consolidated nature enabled us to avoid many complex customizations and helped us better allocate resources to different projects, which has saved thousands of dollars for the company.”

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Learn how your business could benefit by connecting finance and human resources in Oracle Cloud. Download this report



Read more The Value of End-to-End Finance and HR Solutions
Source: Oracle HCM

What to Watch in 2020: Key Takeaways from Learning Technologies

What to Watch in 2020: Key Takeaways from Learning Technologies
The future of learning and development is bright! After attending Learning Technologies 2020 in London, the Saba team is excited about the future of learning. So, we’re sharing our key takeaways and ‘a-ha!’ moments from LT20 with you!
Read more What to Watch in 2020: Key Takeaways from Learning Technologies
Source: Saba

6 Key Questions to Make Performance Management Work

6 Key Questions to Make Performance Management Work

Accountability starts with clearly defined performance goals and being an expert at tracking those goals. When we consider the human element of performance, we consider that it is often not enough for people to just know what to do, but also important to know the “how,” “why,” and “how well,” or “how often” in order to do their best.  Without clearly defined performance goals, we cannot determine if it is the person or the process that must be coached.

Simply put, good goal management helps people focus on the right things and there are numerous studies about the impact of goal management on productivity. The foundation of this research was developed in 1968 by psychologists Edwin Locke and Gary Latham, who took a psychological approach, and found that 1) hard goals produce a higher level of performance (output) than easy goals; (2) specific hard goals produce a higher level of output than a goal of “do your best”; and (3) behavioral intentions regulate choice behavior.  

Performance management strikes fear into everyone, even the highest performing employee. How are you leading your programs to ensure everyone

We have to wonder why effective goal setting continues to challenge organizations. After all, it seems common sense that if employees know what you want them to do, they are much more likely to do it. Questions from engagement surveys point us in the right direction and it’s important to consider how your employees answer (or might answer) these six questions, as they are the foundation for a successful goal management system and approach. 

  1. I know exactly what I am expected to accomplish in my job.
  2. I understand my company’s strategic direction and how what I do aligns with it.
  3. My pay and career opportunities are impacted in part by how well I execute my goals.
  4. My manager and I review and update my goals throughout the year to ensure they stay aligned with changes in company needs or strategy.
  5. My manager gives me regular feedback on my performance. 
  6. My manager involves me in the goal setting process. 

Many years ago, Dale Carnegie stated “People will support the world they create,” while McKinsey & Company advises, “Involve employees from start to finish.” With these philosophies in mind, it’s important to ask how to begin. Start by clearing articulating company direction, strategy, and key business goals. Then, share your goals with your employees and how they tie to company goals. Ask them to articulate what they can do to support these goals and make them happen. If you want to promote teamwork, this is a discussion you should have with your team first: what they can do as a team to support the company goals. This can be a fun and stimulating brain-storming session. 
Once team goals are delineated, each employee can develop their own goals. Look for opportunities for employees to work on goals together and create shared goals along with individual ones. 

You may have to help your employees fine tune their goals. Make sure they are specific enough to be measurable, challenging enough to be motivating, and realistic enough not to be demotivating. Help them with the wording by asking questions rather than simply telling them what to change. For example, “How are you going to measure that?” “How long do you think this will take?” “Have you considered XYZ?”

Learn 5 Steps that Will Ignite Your Business Culture and Inspire Employees to Drive and Sustain Growth

Finally, set up a regular meeting calendar where you review progress one-on-one, and also build in time during each team meeting to review team progress. Make sure employees own this process as they need to come prepared to report on goal status, barriers they have encountered, and successes. You can also use these meetings to tweak goals when business needs have changed, recognize and celebrate success, and course correct when needed.

When we know what is expected, we are committed, motivated, and focused. Such employees are the single biggest driver of organizational success. 

Make Performance Management Work For You

Is it performance management season at your company? If you're looking for a better solution, discover Oracle HCM Cloud or contact us for more information. 

Read more 6 Key Questions to Make Performance Management Work
Source: Oracle HCM

Retail on 02/02/2020: 5 Years | 5 Forces | 5 Trends

Retail on 02/02/2020: 5 Years | 5 Forces | 5 Trends

A discussion with Michael Forhez

A new decade means new predictions, especially across industries experiencing technological change. No industry may be more familiar with such change as retail, where a constant of battle for capturing customer attention and a focus towards in-store experiences are top of mind for leaders. 

Where are things now headed with a new decade? What will customers want in the next few years? How can retailers adjust? To separate truth from fiction, we interviewed Michael Forhez, Oracle’s Global Managing Director for Consumer Markets, and here’s what he had to say:  

As the decade ended, holiday retail sales during 2019 grew 4.1% over 2018. However, online and other non-store sales were up a whopping 14.6%, according to the National Retail Federation (NRF). With these trends in mind, Michael, what are your thoughts as we enter the next decade?

MF: The 2019 holiday sales data indicates that technology has certainly enabled consumers, with businesses simultaneously changing the way they think about the very fabric of the consumer markets, from a cultural and consumption perspective — on both a local and global scale. 

Breaking it down for global economies dependent on consumer spending; 68% for the U.S, 56% the EU, and 48% for China’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP). In 2020, the U.S. will have an estimated 270 million smartphones, 60 million smart wearables, and another 75% of households will have smart speakers. Internet household penetration is forecasted 93% for the U.S. by 2023, according to Statista. If the shopping trends of 2019 hold in the years ahead, more connected customer interaction probably means more consumer-connected business models — play with more, win more!

For consumer markets, innovation is now a requisite skill, requiring the simultaneous rethinking of business strategy and business operations. The next 5 years will prove as an inflection point for both retailers and brands in the global arena as we enter an epoch where today’s ever more connected consumers are driving a customer-centric evolution/revolution. We are now in an era where single years are being equated with decades of change, and with it, a Fourth Industrial Revolution that will outpace all previous means and methods based on fabled business models. Companies that fail to adjust are now growing obsolete, if not irrelevant. 

As history has also shown, technology enabled change doesn’t crawl … it jumps. To stay in the game, leadership must come to terms with this era’s rapid process of change inside a multifaceted, multi-cultural and technological global economy.

Therefore, and as we have discussed countless times, brands must accept that they can no longer sell what they make, but rather make what they can sell. Similarly, retailers must accept that they can no longer sell what they bought, but rather buy what they can sell. The technology-enabled consumer is now in charge as never before, with opportunities for companies who are bold and nimble enough to take advantage. 

Where are retail, HR, and technology headed in the 2020s? We explore in this conversation with Michael Forhez.

Ok Michael —So what does the future look like to you?

MF: I believe much will be decided during the next 3-5 years, and within a framework defined by 5 Forces and 5 Trends. 

5 Forces
These 5 Forces are distinct yet highly correlated technologies. As they become connected and capable of speaking to each other they will utilize deep learning, natural language processing, image recognition and neural network driven decision-making in ways that will help them understand each other, and us, almost if not entirely in real time. Advantage, consumer.

  1. Data Science – A convergence of statistics, mathematics and computer science
  2. Cloud | Edge — Real-time monitoring and analysis
  3. 5G – Up to 100 times faster than 4G (Just imagine!)
  4. ML | AI | AR — Machine Learning (ML) … computers access data learn for themselves. Artificial Intelligence (AI) … Machines carry out tasks in a way that humans would consider ‘smart’.  Augmented Reality (AR) … in an augmented reality, virtual information is overlaid on the real world, both simplifying and enhancing the buying experience.
  5. IoT – Smart phones, autonomous automobiles, TV’s, medical devices, fitness trackers, robots, etc., etc. By definition smart devices depend on only two criteria: The device has the capability to connect with the internet. The device is integrated with technology like sensors, functional software, and some inbuilt technology which supports network connections and actuators.

5 Trends
The 5 Forces described above will combine and enable brands and retailers to optimize their customer relationships while operating leaner and with better decisions on inventory management and pricing optimization. The ability to communicate among trading partners and with customers, more efficiently and effectively, will make personalized offerings, at the speed of thought, the new normal. Creating frictionless, on-line and in-store transactions, will become table stakes for everyday customer engagement. And, finally, the 5 Forces will enable global brands and retailers to be local, with local brands and retailers better prepared to go global. Consider:

  1. Global eCommerce retail will hit $4.9T (17.5% of the WW retail market) by 2021. For reference, the 5 continent average percentage of consumers who made overseas purchases in 2018 was an average 55% of the population.
  2. Environmental sustainability, product traceability and ransparency will continue to grow in importance – even urgency
  3. Western retail will be influenced by Asian Pacific retail models, super apps and mega platforms. 
  4. Supply-Side data analytics and technologies will optimize global consumer defined product and retail operating decisions, with a balanced push-pull model not just dictated by, but predicted upon consumer need states. 
  5. Global government-mandated, consumer privacy regulations will have profound operational and monetary effect on industry structures and competitive behaviors. By example, regulations like the EU’s GDPR, California’s CCPA, and new FCC enforcement that will prevent wireless carriers from selling consumer digital location data to 3rd parties, are expected to radically change domestic marketing practices. 

In closing, as William Gibson forecasted in January 2012 “The future has arrived — it’s just not evenly distributed yet.”

Hail the consumer!

Michael Forhez is Global Managing Director for the Consumer Markets Industry Solutions Group at Oracle. He brings over 30 years of diversified sales, marketing and management consulting experience to his current role. Forhez is frequently called upon to write and speak on various subjects germane to the consumer products and retail sectors. He serves as an evangelist within the consumer markets and has committed his career to engaging with various stakeholders to better understand and reflect their collective requirements.

Learn more about Oracle HCM Cloud at

Read more Retail on 02/02/2020: 5 Years | 5 Forces | 5 Trends
Source: Oracle HCM

The Candidate Experience Doesn't Stop at an Offer Letter

The Candidate Experience Doesn't Stop at an Offer Letter
The ideal candidate’s resume lands in your inbox. You bring them in for an interview, extend an offer letter and they accept! But an offer doesn’t mean that the candidate experience ends. So, how do you keep candidates engaged between signing on the dotted line and the first day of work? And how do you extend the candidate experience beyond the first day, week or even month?
Read more The Candidate Experience Doesn't Stop at an Offer Letter
Source: Saba

The Source of a Leader's Power

The Source of a Leader's Power
What gives a leader more power: authority or influence? Albeit different types of power, both can facilitate, motivate and change behaviors. So, what is the difference? It lies in your relationship with others.
Read more The Source of a Leader's Power
Source: Saba

3 Reasons to Love Your Learning Management System

3 Reasons to Love Your Learning Management System
It’s the time of year when love is in the air. Everyone has found their perfect match. Maybe you’re still hoping to find yours… Have you considered reigniting the spark with your learning management system?
Read more 3 Reasons to Love Your Learning Management System
Source: Saba