Designers for Learning - Adult Learning Zone
Table of Contents
Part 1: Lesson Description
Making an Evidence-Based Argument for a Raise in the Workplace
The purpose of this course is for adult learners to improve their communication skills, especially written communication, by constructing an argument in favor of a raise. Their arguments will consist of evidence-based claims and performance goals that are relevant to their work scenario. Additionally, the lesson will teach the learners how to appropriately respond to a successful raise, and rejection of raise (including criticism of their work). The target audience of this lesson is adults at the 7th grade reading and writing level. A real classroom is the intended setting. This module involves reading, writing and speaking (discussion) components. The entire lesson will take roughly 45 minutes to complete.
Learner Audience / Primary Users
The primary audience of this lesson is adults that are studying to take the GED. Ideally, the adult learners for this course have spent some time in a workplace of some kind. The primary users of this lesson do not need prior experience with technology because they can write the main assignment on paper if desired. Alternately, students can use a computer to type out their assignment and print it.
- Curriculum / Instruction
- Professional Development
College & Career Readiness Standards (CCRS) Alignment
- Level: Adult Education
- Grade Level: CCRS Grade Level D
- Subject: English Language Arts / Literacy
- Domain or Strand:
- Writing of History/Social Studies
- Standard Description:
- Write arguments to support claims with clear reasons and relevant evidence. Support claim(s) with logical reasoning and relevant evidence, using accurate, credible sources and demonstrating an understanding of the topic or text. (W.7.1)
- Produce clear and coherent writing in which the development, organization, and style are appropriate to task, purpose, and audience. (W/WHST.6-8.4, CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.CCRA.W.4)
- Instructional Material
The purpose of this lesson is for learners to be able to:
- Construct an argument with evidence and a clearly stated performance goal to support the case for a raise in the workplace.
- Appropriately respond to the rejection of a raise and criticism of their work.
- Designers for Learning
- Adult Education
- Income Raise in the Workplace
- Responding to Criticism in the Workplace
Time Required for Lesson
The adult learner must have at least 7th grade reading and writing skills. Ideally, the learner should have spent some time in the workplace, although it is not mandatory to complete this lesson.
- Access to a computer (to display PowerPoint).
- A few pieces of paper per student.
- One pen per student.
Lesson Author & License
- Lesson Author: Christina McNish
- License: Creative Commons CC BY 4.0 license
Part 2: Lesson
By the end of this lesson, the learner should be able to:
- Construct an argument with examples of work performance and one work performance goal to support the claim for a pay raise in the workplace.
- Appropriately respond to the rejection of a raise and criticism of their work.
- Ask for workplace goals that will increase the likelihood of receiving a raise (if initial request for raise is rejected).
Key topics covered in this lesson include:
- The work conditions that should be present in order to ask for a raise
- Examples of the employee's exceptional work performance are essential to making an argument in favor of a raise
- Examples of the employee's performance goals are important to making an argument in favor of a raise
- Guidelines on how to respond to the rejection of a raise
Learners will provide evidence and one performance goal to support their arguments for a raise. Arguments must be accurate, logical and appropriate for presentation to a manager in the professional workplace. Learners will appropriately respond to the rejection of a raise and ask for work goals that may that will increase their likelihood of getting a raise.
Relevance to Practice
Making a strong argument in favor of a raise is an important skill to have as an adult employee. It is good to be able to identify the conditions that are optimal for a raise and to be able to make a strong argument backed by examples of exceptional work performance. It is also beneficial, both personally and professionally, for learners to use their creativity to imagine future scenarios where they may achieve work performance goals. Although fair compensation in the workplace is a complicated socio-economic issue, these learned skills can help adults seek fair compensation in scenarios where it is possible. Requests for a raise frequently get rejected due to funding issues or criticism of a worker's work, and properly handling criticism is a skill many workers lack.
Key Terms and Concepts
- Pay raise: An increase in the yearly salary or hourly wage that an employee receives.
- Business value: Anything an employee does that helps a company stay in business.
- Work performance: The tasks and duties an employee performs as a part of his or her job description.
- Performance goal: An action or set of actions an employee intends to achieve in the future within his or her workplace.
Instructional Strategies and Activities
Time: 5 minutes
Give students these exercises:
- Think of a time you performed well at a job. What task or objective did you perform well? Did you mention your performance to your manager as supporting evidence in a request for a raise? If you did not, do you think you should have? Why or why not? Pair up with a partner and discuss these points.
- Think of a time your work got criticized. Did you think the criticism was fair? How did you respond? Do you wish you had responded differently? Pair up with a partner and discuss these points.
Time: 1 minute
The teacher introduces the key terms and concepts.
The teacher introduces the following learning objective:
- By the end of this lesson, you will know how to make an argument in favor of a raise by citing evidence and one performance goal that supports your argument.
- You will know how to respond to the rejection of a raise request and criticism of your work.
Presentation / Modeling / Demonstration
Time: 10 minutes
Present these materials to the class:
This Powerpoint presentation includes:
- Examples of the conditions that have to exist in order to ask for a raise.
- Examples of employees performing exceptionally.
- Examples of work performance goals.
- Guidelines on how to respond to the rejection of a raise and/or criticism of your work.
Time: 18 minutes
Read the following scenario aloud to prepare students for their writing exercise:
Diego is a sales associate at an office supplies company. Diego has been working there for two years and has never received a raise. He plans on asking for one soon. Diego likes his job and plans on staying with the company for years to come.
Here is a brief overview of Diego's last year with the company:
- Diego has a pattern of being late occasionally. He wants to improve that behaviour.
- When his manager, Sheila, was trying to find a strategy to increase recent low sales, Diego made a suggestion to about how to improve the customer engagement strategy. He suggested that each associate compile a list of questions they should ask about a potential customer before assessing if they would buy the product. Sheila did not formally implement the strategy into the department's process but some employees told Diego's technique they used his strategy to improve their sales.
- Diego meets his sales targets but does not exceed them by much.
- Diego has frequently taken other coworkers's shifts when they were sick or needed to look after their kids.
- Diego stayed late when Sheila needed extra help to meet corporate deadlines.
Diego has talked to his coworkers about pay increases. He has discovered many of them make more than him despite having been at the company an equal amount of time.
Diego is thinking about how he will approach his manager for a raise. He knows that, in addition to providing examples of his work performance, he must provide examples of what he wants to achieve in the future. Diego is unaware of the company's financial ability to give raises. Up until recently, his manager, Sheila, had been told by upper management that there was no funding. However, the company has funding available now.
After you have read the above scenario, give students the following writing activity:
- Make an argument of at least 150 words supporting why Diego should or should not get a raise. Your argument should provide include the following:
- Examples of Diego performing well as an employee. (If you don't think he should get a raise, give examples of work performance Diego should have contributed.)
- One performance goal for Diego to achieve in the upcoming months.
- Imagine Diego request for a raise gets rejected. What areas of his work may be criticized? Write a response to the rejection of a raise that is at least 75 words. Include responses to potential criticism of his work.
- Your argument will be assessed using the Evidence-Based Writing Rubric.
Give your students the following rubric. It will be used later as a part of the evaluation exercise.
Time: 8 minutes
Volunteer students will read their arguments aloud and their responses to the rejection of a raise. The teacher and learners will discuss whether the examples are backed by facts and the way that evidence was cited. The provided rubric will be used to guide evaluation.
Time: 5 minutes
Give students this exercise to flex their imaginations and apply the knowledge they have just learned:
- Imagine you have been at a job for a year and are performing one of your duties well.
Pair up with a partner and discuss the following:
- How you would argue your performance of this duty delivers business value to your manager.
- What percentage of a raise you would ask for and why.
- How you would respond to a rejection for a raise due to funding.
- How you would respond to a rejection for a raise due to criticism of your work.
This exercise will get students thinking about their work performance and how they can use examples of their work performance to ask for raises.
Part 3: Supplementary Resources & References
- Accomplishments worksheet. https://www.livecareer.com/quintessential/accomplishments-worksheet
- Monster salary wizard. http://www.monster.com/career-advice/article/salary-wizard-calculator
“This work, MAKING AN EVIDENCE-BASED ARGUMENT IN FAVOUR OF A RAISE, is a derivative of ‘MAKING EVIDENCE-BASED CLAIMS UNIT GRADE 7: CESAR CHAVEZ’ by Odell Education, used under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International license. ‘MAKING AN EVIDENCE-BASED ARGUMENT IN FAVOUR OF A RAISE’ is licensed under Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International license by Christina McNish.”
This course content is offered by Designers for Learning under a CC Attribution license.
Content in this course can be considered under this license unless otherwise noted. Page
(Design Guide effective March 29, 2016)