Boss Who Promised Employee A Raise After 6 Months Is Annoyed That They Hit Goals — 'Why Isn't This Your Baseline Standard?'

Never make an employee a promise you don't intend to keep.

LinkedIn post, man at work Reddit & Yan Krukau / Pexels

Performance-based bonuses are nothing new. Employees are incentivized to give their all, in pursuit of a financial windfall. But what happens when you work hard and meet goals, and your boss decides to move the goalpost?

In a story shared on the subreddit, "r/LinkedInLunatics," a story originally shared on LinkedIn by a man named Christopher was posted detailing the boss’s response when an employee asked for a raise after delivering exactly what the company had asked them to.


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After an employee met performance goals set by the boss, he was told he didn't care about the company.

The post, titled "Anyone else want to vomit?" started by detailing an interaction between an employee who was making $60,000 a year and asked Their employer to raise their pay to $70,000 annually. The boss responded, “Work on these few things, and come back in six months.”

So, the employee did what he or she was asked to do and produced the intended results. When the six months were up, they raised the conversation about upping their salary again, and this time got a disappointing response from the boss.


According to the image shared, the boss told the employee, “Why do you only do more work when you want something from the company? Why isn’t this your baseline standard regardless of you wanting a raise or not? You don’t seem to care about the business as a 'whole' but only when you want more of the pie.”

The boss went on to say that if employees worked hard all the time, the pie would be bigger and have raises “baked in.” The superior then suggested that instead of talking about the raise, they should discuss how employees could work hard all the time, leaving no gaps to fill in the work.


In the most patronizing of ways, the boss went on to explain what they thought the term “raise” means, “To lift to a higher position, to increase the amount [of effort], and an increase in salary.”

Photo: LinkedIn via Reddit

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The boss’s overall point seems to be that workers who ask for raises should expect to maintain a higher level of performance permanently.

Whether or not the pay increase was given to the employee is a mystery, but people in the comments took issue with the response from the manager. The first commenter quoted the boss by saying, “Why do you only do more work when you want something from me or the company? Send this idiot to business school.”

Another person wrote, “The employee did what the boss requested in order to get a raise. Give [them the] raise and continue to receive the elevated work. Deny the raise, and the employee goes back to the previous work level. Pretty simple concept.”

The relationship between employer and employee is reciprocal. Of course, workers want to be compensated for their efforts, and businesses would ideally like to get the most "bang for their buck," by way of retaining top performers.

There are many reasons an employee might change their work habits when pursuing a promotion or increase. Perhaps they want to demonstrate that they can do a new job in order to support their request. Maybe some of the work they are now doing was not in their original job description.


Making promises to employees that you choose not to keep is a recipe for disaster. It can result in lost trust, lowered morale, a loss of respect, and eventually, resignation. Both parties should be able to count on the other to keep their word and do their work to the best of their ability.

RELATED: Top-Performing Employee Tells Boss That Because His Pay Is 'Below Average' His Work Will Be Too After Getting Denied A Raise For Two Years

NyRee Ausler is a writer and author from Seattle. She covers issues navigating the workplace using the experience garnered over two decades of working in Human Resources & Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion.