Career Advice

Good Performance Review But No Raise – Here’s What You Should Do

Businesses have gone through a lot of changes these past few years. The challenges have shown up in various ways, especially affecting employees. As things start getting back to normal, situations that may have been overlooked will now be addressed. One of those things may be employees with good performance review but no raise situations.

There are many companies that go on for a few years without giving their employees raises, even if it’s in the employee handbook. There are a number of reasons why the company may not give raises, including financial difficulties, or if they wish to keep all the profits within the company and shareholders. While this is not a good business practice, there are many companies that do it because, by law, companies are only required to pay a minimum wage. Cost of living increases are strictly based on the financial performance of the company and whether they choose to offer this additional incentive.

You may be wondering, “how can a company avoid giving me a raise when I’m continuously going above and beyond?” While this does raise eyebrows, it’s not uncommon. Some companies struggled during the pandemic, so being able to keep employees working was their main priority.

Why would the company give me a good performance review but no raise?

A lot of companies fail to communicate with their employees the right way. If there are no raises being given, employees should be notified. If you have waited for a significant amount of time and a raise has not been mentioned, you are within your rights to inquire about the process. While you may not be pleased with the way the situation has been handled, you must keep your cool and remain professional.

Before you start inquiring about why you didn’t receive a raise, there are a few reasons why you may have been overlooked:

It wasn’t brought up during your review

With so many changes going on in companies, not giving raises may be the norm until the pandemic has completely passed. Your review was the perfect time to inquire about a raise. If you didn’t, your supervisor may have assumed all is well and the good performance review would suffice. It is always best to speak up during the review – especially after you receive favorable feedback.

Read More: How to Decline a Promotion Due to Salary the Right Way (With Samples)

You asked for something else

Performance reviews can lead to promotions and raises. If you asked the company to consider promoting you during your review, you may be overlooked for a raise because they may have plans in the future if there are roles you can fill. Knowing you are looking for a position that gives you more responsibility and pay indicates you are actively seeking to transition. Your supervisor may consider this a reason to hold the raise because you may be moving into another position soon.

Your priorities were off

One of the most important things an employee can do is have periodic check-ins with their supervisor throughout the year. That will keep the employee on track based on their role. There are numerous instances of employees doing a great job but not meeting the expectations of their own job because they are focusing on other things. If you don’t take the initiative to make sure you are doing what is expected, you could find yourself in this situation.

You didn’t work with the team

Companies love employees that are assertive and natural-born leaders, but if you can’t be a team player, it reflects badly on you. There are many overachievers that feel as if they can do it all themselves or just because no one else can successfully do the tasks of certain roles. Having this mindset instead of asking for assistance can reflect poorly, resulting in a good performance review but no raise scenario. People that get raises and accolades are usually great team players.

You didn’t go beyond the expectations of the job

If you did your job and just your job, you may be viewed as someone who is content with doing the bare minimum. When you exceed the goals and objectives of your role and perform at optimal levels, it gets noticed. Today’s roles are expected to give more. Doing the basic tasks associated with your role and nothing extra will be scrutinized and weighed heavily. While you are a good worker, that does not mean your performance warrants a raise.

Asking your supervisor and the Human Resources person what you could have done better, or what you need to do to get a raise the next time you receive a good performance review can shed some light on the real expectations of your boss. This is the time when you can also address whether you feel that the expectations may be too high, or the role is too much for one person.

Read More: From Good To Great: 20 Examples Of Exceeding Expectations

You gave yourself too much credit

You may think you are doing a great job, but you’re not doing anything spectacular. Your supervisor is satisfied with your work, which may warrant a good performance review but that’s it.

Here are a few things you can do:

Schedule a meeting with your supervisor

Your supervisor is the first step in implementing your plan of action. During the meeting, you want to get feedback on how the company is doing. If your supervisor starts talking about financial difficulties or even layoffs, you will have your answer. Even if you inadvertently get this information, it’s always best to be direct and ask if raises are being given out this year. If the answer is yes, then you can inquire as to why you have received a good performance review but no raise.

Your supervisor is just the middleman and may not have all the answers. The good part about meeting with your supervisor is that you are now equipped with some information when you continue up the chain of command.

Make a case

Once you speak with your supervisor, if you aren’t happy with the answer, the next step is to visit Human Resources. The Human Resources specialist will be able to speak to your supervisor and find out why you did not receive a raise. If there are any directives from the C-Suite team, Human Resources would know and is probably responsible for getting that information out to all the employees.

If you have certain expectations or you were informed that raises occur every year or on certain timelines, you should expect the company to adhere to its own standards. Your discussion with Human Resources should state the facts for clarity. You should also be prepared to come up with examples of why you should receive a raise.

If yearly raises during the time of the performance appraisal are stated in your employment contract, your employer cannot justify not providing you with a raise if it is within their ability to do so. If the company cannot afford to provide a raise, it may be wise to negotiate something else such as additional vacation days or flex time to compensate for the loss.

Read More: 11 Tips for Women to Negotiate a Higher Salary

Negotiate the raise

If not giving you a raise was a simple misunderstanding, this will be addressed. That would be the time to start negotiating what percentage you think is fair and equitable based on your contributions to the company. Make sure the ask is comparable to the work you have done. If they are willing to give you a raise, know your number because it can get talked down quickly.

It is up to you as an employee to address the good performance review but no raise situation. It is wise to know what you want before starting to inquire about having a good performance review but no raise scenario. Do your research on the company. If the company has been in financial trouble, you will have some idea of why you are still an employee with a good performance rating.

If the company has neglected to give you a raise over a long period of time and your actions and responses aren’t addressed, you may want to seek the advice of an employment attorney unless it is stated in the handbook you will not be reviewed for a pay raise.

Planning for the next time you have a performance review is key in ensuring you don’t allow another year to pass without being compensated for your contributions. Ultimately, you should always be prepared to ask for what you want. Always be gracious and thank all the interested parties for their time.

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About Author

Founder of With over 20 years of experience in HR and various roles in corporate world, Jenny shares tips and advice to help professionals advance in their careers. Her blog is a go-to resource for anyone looking to improve their skills, land their dream job, or make a career change.