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

He told them the environment did not inspire him to work hard.

Last updated on Mar 25, 2024

employee leaning back in desk chair Standret / Shutterstock

Workers are changing how they view employment. No longer are they willing to settle for being underpaid or dissatisfied with their work environment. Employees are demanding fair compensation for the jobs they do and deciding that if one employer won’t give it to them, another will.

A man on TikTok is demonstrating how workers are reclaiming their power in the workplace with a video documenting a conversation he had with his boss.


The former top-performing employee told his boss his 'below average' work is due to his low pay.

In 2022, a TikTok user named Kris shared a video he explained was a reenactment of a real conversation he had with his employer about his performance at work after his department head called him to “discuss the difference in your performance between last year and 2020.”



RELATED: Boss Accuses Employee Of 'Quiet Quitting' For Only Working 40-Hour Weeks & Refusing Overtime


On the call, Kris learned that he was the top performer at the company the year prior but had seemingly lost focus and was no longer engaged since then. Kris nodded his head in agreeance, admitting that his performance had recently declined.

He explained that in 2020, he failed to receive a salary increase for the second year in a row despite, as she had so thoughtfully pointed out, he was the top employee.

He went on the tell the woman that he had asked why he did not get a raise and was told that his pay was “a fair market value” for his role. Yet when he asked where his salary landed on the pay scale, he was told that it fell below the median, which he took to mean that he was being paid below the average salary for his position.

“At that point, I just decided I’m going to become a fair market value employee and put in a below average amount of effort because that’s what I feel like you pay me to do,” Kris said, telling her that the environment the company had created provided no incentive for him to go above and beyond, so he didn’t.


RELATED: Attorney Says Quiet Quitting Is Smart — ‘Giving 110% To Your Employer Is A Bad Bet’

High performers are often left feeling demoralized, especially since it is not uncommon for them to be "rewarded" with more work without an associated pay increase.

“If you’re committed to your career and feel an emotional bond with the organization or the career, then if an event happens that violates the psychological contract, the unwritten expectations, that abuses our sense of whether we can trust the organization,” Dr. Ashley Weinberg, an occupational psychologist, told The Guardian.

This can lead to exactly what we saw in the video, a practice now often referred to as ‘quiet quitting,’ where a person stays at the job but does the bare minimum to stay employed.

Employees "want to be respected for what they do, and valued in some way,” Weinberg explained.


Prioritizing employees who give their all can help with retention and morale and keep employers from creating knowledge gaps that can negatively impact the business. Investing in tried-and-true talent is the best way to keep employees engaged, inspired and loyal.

RELATED: Worker Reveals How She Was Promoted 7 Times Despite Knowing Nothing About The Job, Doing The Bare Minimum & Being Completely ‘Incompetent’


NyRee Ausler is a writer from Seattle, Washington, and author of seven books. She covers lifestyle and entertainment and news, as well as navigating the workplace and social issues.