Typical Percentages for Raises for Outstanding Employees

Not all employees fall into the “outstanding” category. Some workers stroll into work late, procrastinate at their desks all day or become entangled in interpersonal conflicts with co-workers and clients. Outstanding employees tend to have greater knowledge, communication skills, interpersonal skills and personal skills compared with other workers, according to Iowa State University. These employees may be rewarded with higher-percentage raises compared with colleagues. Identify typical percentages for raises for outstanding employees to avoid losing top workers to competitors.

Outstanding Rankings

  1. Before assigning high-percentage raises to employees, ensure that they’ve been correctly identified by incorporating formalized assessment strategies into the workplace. Some businesses employ a numerical ranking system that forces evaluators to assess workers on a bell curve to avoid excessive distribution of high rankings. The “1” ranking might reflect unsatisfactory work; the “5” ranking might reflect outstanding work and be assigned to 10 percent or fewer employees, according to HR WhatNot.

Typical Percentages

  1. Before assessing percentages for raises, employees may be assigned salaries based on a compensation ratio that factors in salaries based on what others in comparable positions earn. An outstanding employee with a 1.0 -- or 100 percent ranking -- may already be earning the maximum allowable amount on the company pay scale and is ineligible for a pay raise; however, she could receive a bonus. An outstanding employee with a .80 -- or 80 percent ranking -- might be eligible for a larger pay raise. The average percentage for overall raises in 2011 is projected to be 3 percent compared with 2.5 percent in 2010, according to AOL Jobs. Higher percentages for outstanding employees may reach 4.1 percent, according to Salary.com. By comparison, low performers may merit a 0.7 percent pay raise and mid-level workers may merit a 2.7 percent pay raise, according to Talent Management.


  1. If you’re an employer unable to offer typical percentages for raises to outstanding employees, choose other options that enable you to reward standout workers. Offering bonuses, assigning additional privileges, sending top-performers to special trainings and networking events or assigning a top-level mentor to assist with professional development can help reward outstanding employees until you’re able to offer additional monetary compensation.


  1. If you’re a worker who would like to earn an “outstanding” ranking in order to qualify for higher percentage raises, identify and meet career goals so that you have demonstrated evidence of progress and motivation. Track accomplishments and relay outstanding achievements to managers and employers. Don’t rely on every online calculation you encounter that describes pay rates for your position, since these are sometimes inflated. Also, don’t threaten to quit since this makes you appear disloyal and unprofessional. Stay optimistic; in 2011, 88 percent of workers were slated for a pay raise compared with 86 percent of workers in 2010 and 80 percent of workers in 2009, according to Top Management.