5 Steps To Successfully Ask For A Raise In Salary
Should you run into a situation where you have to ask for a raise, you have probably somehow found yourself knee-deep in the increment quick sand. Your employer does not seem to value you as much as you do yourself. And you have become as lost as a puppy in a box.
Your boss have made a half-hearted effort to convince HR on your behalf, you have been slamming your keyboards to send emails to fight your case, and your smart phone is going into overdrive from the amount of activity in chat groups where you express your grievances to your colleagues.
By not rewarding you for your hard work, the guys who have the final say on raises are basically forcing your hand to make a pre-emptive move. It’s not that you don’t produce the goods at work. It’s just that the value you bring to the table is not recognized in the manner you would have liked.
Maybe being the studious employee you are is not so ideal after all. In the dog-eat-dog workplace these days, you have to step up onto the spotlight every once in a while so that you don’t become another one those invisible staff.
Keep that in mind in your next job. In the meantime, it’s time to get serious in getting your raise. Here’s what you can do.
1) Justify your value
If an average household can hardly afford a $100 item, a great salesman will go to great lengths describing how much they can actually save from making this $100 purchase. It would be really weird if you know you can save $500 on household expenses each year by buying and using a product that costs $100. Is that convincing?
The same concept can be applied to your case for a pay raise. The irony of an efficient organization is that many tasks that employees do go about unnoticed. This is why there are appraisals conducted each financial year to find out what employees actually contribute.
You need to draw up a HUGE list of things that you have helped the company. And you need to describe them in terms of numbers.
Just saying that you make great coffee for everyone at management meetings is not enough. If you are clever, go into detail of how much Starbucks for everyone on each meeting would cost the company. Then stress on how much time is saved for not having to get every manager to buy their own coffees. The exotic brew you make also helps every manager get more vibrant in discussions and make better decisions.
Alright that is a strange example. Let’s try again.
If you are a secretary for example, the timeliness and efficiency which you are making travel arrangements is often overlooked. With the close relationship you have built with travel agencies, you have helped your bosses travel with little issues even when they need to travel at the last minute. An overnight service could cost the company 10 times as much. The manner in which you squeeze your agencies also helps the company get 180 day payment terms on the cost of their services. This helps to improve the company cash flow and we haven’t even gotten into the time value of money. A newbie could be hired to do the same job as you, but inexperience comes with screw ups. Those can cause problematic travel arrangements for everyone. Surely your boss will not want to arrive in a place like Myanmar and find out at immigration that his visa is not cleared.
You can probably see the point that I’m making. You need to communicate the value you bring to the company in terms of numbers. When you can present the money you help the business make or save in a manner which makes your salary insignificant, your boss will find himself tongue-twisted to play down your greedy requests.
2) Don’t go overboard with the raise you want
If the market is paying loan officers $3000, you cannot realistically expect to be offered a new salary scale of $5000. That just doesn’t happen. You are just making a fool of yourself.
Research the market, research what other staff doing the same job in your company is being remunerated, research what your competitors are paying, etc. Have a fair realistic number in mind and work towards it. Don’t change your position after you have made your numbers known. The last thing you want is to have a supervisor find you a flip-flopper who is just trying your luck.
If you are asking for the moon, it makes it so much easier for your boss to laugh off your request as a joke of the day moment. You might not be taken seriously.
There are usually 2 ways that work very often in successful raise requests. The first is by using the company increment policies as a comparison to what you actually got. If everyone around you received 5% and you got 2%, it is within your rights to ask why and demand parity.
The second way is to go for an interview and inform your boss how much others are willing to pay you. To avoid pissing off your boss, don’t make that “new employer” a competitor. If you went to a competitor for an interview, you are just making yourself look like a cunning fox. It is less of a sickening threat if your interview is with another company that does not compete with your current employer. If your boss really values you, he is going to fight for you knowing that you could leave the team for greener pastures.
3) Time your move
Even though we try not to associate the workplace with emotions, it is a fact that any workplace is driven by emotional forces and culture. There is always a good and bad time to ask for a raise.
When you are having a bad month for making a mess out of event budgets or that your numbers are not hitting targets, you would be a fool to think that those numbers will not affect the outcome of a raise request. You are just giving your boss the ammunition to shoot you down.
Ask for your raise only when you have done well individually and that the company is performing above expectations. These 2 factors need to be there as even if you have done well, the company might not be able to afford your rates if it is in the red.
4) Don’t get emotional at negotiation
When you get into a one-on-one discussion about your salary, you could be prone to revealing what you dislike about the company. These are times when managers like to dig into details of negative vibes just to learn more about what is happening in the office.
You could be tempted to let your true feelings out thinking that a discussion is actually a showdown. That kind of conversation is not what you want. It can get off track very quickly. The worst thing is that people might unknowingly entice you into getting into that grove.
Don’t bite that bait. Your objective is to talk up yourself to justify your raise. It is not time to complain about office politics or annoying colleagues. These things might just give your boss a better reason to deny your requests.
5) Follow up relentlessly
You have probably lost count of the number of times your boss has said something would be done during a meeting and then never hear about it ever again. Don’t let that happen on the most important issue of salary.
Salary hikes happen all the time in organizations. But they don’t happen in an instant. Many people and many channels are involved from proposing your new package to finally approving it. You can’t expect it to happen in 1 day.
Keep reminding your boss about what he has agreed. And remind him about that email he has promised to send to HR. Ask him casually what is the status from time to time. When he realizes that you are relentless, he would make that extra effort to close the case just so you can stop annoying him about it anymore.
Corporate policies are not set in stone as you might be led to believe. Rules are bent all the time to accommodate those who are brave enough to challenge it. If you truly believe that you are worth more than you are being paid, make your case and don’t be afraid to ask even if you have been told that you’ve hit the ceiling of your salary bracket.