5 Employees You Should Give a Raise to Immediately

Paying out more funds can be tough for anyone–especially if you’re an entrepreneur or owner of a small-business or startup making your way post-Recession. However, you have to remember that you’re only as strong as your best employees and rewarding their efforts, loyalty, and talents is crucial. Otherwise, you might get a surprise two-week notice, says inc.

You don’t need to give everyone a raise unless it’s written into everyone’s contract. Discretion is key, especially when you only want to give one or a handful of employees a pay hike. There are a few signs to watch out for–is one of your best workers about to give notice? Do you honestly think one of your workers deserves better pay, even though that person would likely stick around at the same rate?

Treat your employees how they deserve to be treated, and they’ll return the favor. Here are the five employees who should get a raise immediately. Make the offer today and lock in their loyalty.

1. The one who brings in the most revenue

It doesn’t matter if it’s a barista who constantly gets the most tips and revenue or your salesperson who earns the highest commission. There are many ways to tell who the biggest earner is, and you probably already have a name on the tip of your tongue. Just be mindful of whether they’re only performing the best because they happen to have the shifts with the most customers. Level the playing field and consider variables before offering a raise.

2. The one with an invaluable skill

Some things can’t be learned, such as a personality that your customers adore all day. If, for example, your receptionist instantly brightens everyone’s day and you’ve had floods of compliments about him, he deserves a perk. More than fitting into the company culture, helping to define it for the better is something that can’t be replaced.

3. The one who gives more than 100 percent

If you have a worker who always goes above and beyond, even if she’s not the top seller or obvious standout, you need to appreciate those efforts. Not everyone can be top dog or even the best in a certain department. However, hard work is an overlooked quality, especially if the worker tends to be more quiet or reserved.

4. The one who was there from the beginning

Assuming that person hasn’t reached burnout and is still doing the job, sometimes a raise is what it takes to reignite a fire under a worker. That employee might not be your shining star at the moment because of feeling unappreciated–seeing other employees come and go but feeling stuck on a plateau himself. Reward loyalty and longevity when applicable.

5. The one who you want to run things one day

Do you see CEO, executive director, or another lofty title in the future of one of your workers? He might just be honing his skills now, but you don’t want to lose him to bigger and better things. Consider the future of the company when you’ll no longer be running it. If you think the future CEO is already in the mix, seal the deal now.

Your employees make or break your business. Ensure that you keep the best, because money talks–what’s it saying to your premium workers?