Preparing pay negotiations for managers

Inspiration for a positive pay negotiation process. Be well-prepared and have a good understanding of the individual employee and your employees as a whole. 

Prepare well

You must be able to negotiate and justify the employee's salary and explain the pay policy, as well as your own underlying reasoning - sometimes you will communicate this directly to your employee and sometimes it will be communicated via the union representatives you have negotiated with. This will require thorough preparation.

Share knowledge and align your approach in the management team

The management team should share their knowledge of the employee group with each other and align their approach to local salary development. Discuss what is strategically important to reward, and what to be particularly aware of when allocating funds.

Grant strategic salary increases

Local salary development gives you the opportunity to reward qualifications and initiatives. Look at the entire unit and your strategic goals and ask yourself, for example, who:

  • has made a special contribution?
  • has qualifications that you want to retain?
  • has shown positive development or has acquired new qualifications?
  • is lagging behind in terms of pay?

Use local salary development to strategically reward employees who pull the unit in the right direction. Select a few but relevant criteria, and align the strategy with your colleagues in the management team.

A fair process

When an employee or union representative participates in a pay negotiation, it is vital that they feel as if they have been treated fairly. Two things are important in this context:

  • the result – what comes out of the negotiation
  • and, in particular, the process – the way in which the results are reached

How a person assesses whether allocation was fair (the result) is based on different things - e.g. own efforts, equality with colleagues, etc. An employee or union representative will better be able to accept a modest result if they feel that the process has been fair.

How to ensure a fair process

A fair process is characterised by the experience

  • that you, as a manager, are striving to consider and act in a fair manner towards all employees
  • of being able to speak on matters that are important
  • of being heard by someone with real decision-making power
  • of being treated with dignity and respect