Ok, I have an employee that I like, I don't want to loose, and don't want disgruntled.
Prior to 2009 he worked for a large company, they did large commercial projects, we claims to have made 18 per hour, and they let him go. That company has shrunk alot and is on its way out.
2010 he worked for me, full season, did a little of everything . Got paid $12.00
2011 he didn't come back, he helped his brother, as he was injured with a side business
2012- last season , he asked me for 18. I said no, we settled at 14.
This year he started at 14 and wants a raise. He wants 16. Problem I have with it, he does great work, shows up 99%of the time. But 15 per hour is crew leader pay. He doesn't act like a crew leader. He is Spanish, has a hard time writing English, we have had communication problems, he doesn't fill out paper work when asked, he was hired and told me lie had a c-class DL. Turns out its a standard D. He has backed me into the corner on a few things in front of other guys, this raised was asked on a job site, with other workers around and he said well then I have to quit. I called his bluff already on the quitting.
I would love to give him a raise, and want him happy. But at the moment, profits are tight. Last years, his numbers where bad, he made no money, broke even. He never seems to kick the guys in the butt. He just does a nice job at what he is doing.
So what do I do? If I step back and think about all the skills and character traits a $15 per hour crew leader makes, I think he only has half of them.