Given the tough economic times, most companies are handing out smaller raises. Companies are also targeting their top performers for the highest wage increases, with the idea that this will motivate workers to be more productive. However, because the amount of money that companies have to spend toward raises is relatively small, it is often difficult to substantially differentiate between ?top? and ?average? performers. Another problem is that workers often feel that they are being treated unfairly when they do not receive the same raise as someone else.
See T. Shawn Taylor, Chicago Tribune, October 21, 2003