I got this really good question from Debbie about pay raises

Hi John,

I’m about to do a review with my assistant who has been working for me for 4 months, and would like to reward her work with a pay rise. She still has quite a bit to learn in her role so I want to do it in a way that’s sustainable

I don’t want to create unrealistic pay levels that my business may not be able to sustain going forward as her knowledge (and pay) levels increase, as I’d like to keep her as a long term team member.

She is part-time (20 hours/week) by her choice, which suits me perfectly at the moment.

Is it more beneficial to her to offer to pay her SSS or PhilHealth instead of a weekly pay increase, then do a pay increase at a later review point? Or some other combination?

We don’t really have a formula for pay raises. We don’t tell our team how much they can expect for their pay raise. We give raises yearly, but the amount depends on their performance. The amount is also determined by what we feel is sustainable. My OFS team doesn’t know how much of a raise they’ll be getting every year, but they know that they can expect a raise if they perform well.

Here are my general thoughts and how I’ve done raises over the years.

– As a standard we give a $25-$50 per month raise each year.
– If someone is amazing, we give a $100-$200 per month raise that year.
– Sometimes, we start someone lower than what they’d like to be paid. After 3-4 months, if they’re good and helping the business grow, we’ll put them closer to what they asked for in the beginning.
– One time I doubled someone’s salary because they were so amazing.

– This year, we’ll consider inflation.
– This year, we’ll also consider that USD is super strong so they’ve already gotten a 15% pay raise throughout the year just with the exchange rate (because we pay almost everyone a set USD amount and the Peso went from 50:1 to 58:1 this year).
– We won’t use the strong USD as the pay raise. At some point, USD will decline. Then they’re taking a pay cut.

Regarding benefits, that is something that you can put off until you can afford to give it regularly. Here at Onlinejobs.ph, it took us years before we started offering any sort of benefits. We waited until the business was profitable enough, and we didn’t offer all the benefits at once. We just kept adding them when we were able to afford them.

We’ll be releasing a complete guide to benefits soon. But I also talk about other things like management and work culture in my free book, The Outsourcing Lever.