Asking for a salary increase can be exceptionally stressful. Even if you feel that you have a proper reasoning to receive a higher compensation, you might be daunted by the perspective of getting a refusal.
According to Payscale, only 20% of employees agree that they are fairly compensated, while 40% of their bosses believe that the employees are comfortable with the salary levels. Thus, your boss might not even suspect that you would like to earn more, and the only way to resolve it is to bring up the subject.
As stated by Businessnewsdaily, 75% of people asking for salary increase receive it. So, your chances to succeed are quite high. However, the process of asking for a raise needs thorough preparation and negotiation skills. Below, you’ll find the hands-on advice on how to have a productive conversation with your manager.
How to ask for a raise successfully
- Choose the right time
The success of your salary raise request depends significantly on when you decide to bring up the subject. If the company fires employees or experiences a decrease in sales due to economy conditions or reduction in sales. Wait until the situation settles, and then come up with your request.
Note that most companies tie salary increases to annual reviews, and if this rule applies to your company, it’s the best moment to put all your cards at the table. However, since the crisis most of the companies have been ignoring this rule, so you don’t have to stick to it as well.
- Compare your salary against your coworkers or other people in your industry
Before you actually speak to the boss, you need to be confident that your request is well-grounded. If you have feeling you’re underpaid, learn more about average salaries in your field. Salary.com offers such information free of charge. It would be even better if you could find out about the income of people in your office or department (provided that you have good relationships with colleagues). It can happen that a person with similar duties makes 20% more than you do! If your annual income is less than average in your industry or your department, use this fact during the conversation with your boss.
- Determine your value for the company
The most successful employees keep a track record of the new skills they’ve learned, new responsibilities they’ve taken on, and the most notable achievement. You can update your resume with this information or simply keep a Word file. During the salary negotiations, these facts should be used to explain your boss why you deserve a raise.
Even if your position didn’t directly influence the sales or revenue, it doesn’t mean that you don’t have any achievements. Maybe, you’ve trained the onboarding team members, or came up with the improvements of working process which helped save time on basic tasks, or your students won the countrywide contest… Put these facts together to prove that you’ve put enough effort to you work and deserve to earn more.
- Practice negotiations in advance
Raising the subject of the salary increase makes most people feel uncomfortable and awkward. That’s why, before you actually enter your boss’ office, make sure you know what and how to say. It’s a good idea to practice what you would like to say with your friends or even actually visit interviews - you’re not going to change job so far, but this will help you become more stress resistant and you’ll learn how to negotiate your compensation better.
- Get a reference from other manager or supervisor
If you work with a medium-sized or big organization, you probably deal not only with your direct boss but also with senior team members and the managers of other projects, departments, etc. So, why not ask someone you closely work with about a reference? If any other manager in your company have seen you real contribution, ask them to put in a work for you before you actually speak to your boss. When you have a referee (or two), the chances that you’ll get that raise significantly increase.
- Be focused during the conversation
Came to your boss’ office to ask for a salary increase? Then, build all the conversation around this subject. The experts recommend starting with discussing the business matters and your contribution, and then expressing your desire to earn more. Don’t turn the salary negotiation into the discussion of everyday office duties, gossip, etc. Only when you are highly focused on the subject, you’ll be able to discuss the salary raise in detail and receive the feedback you need.
- Keep it on a positive note
When discussing the matter with your boss, remember to keep the conversation positive. One of the biggest mistakes you can make is to start complaining about your current paycheck. Leave the moaning that you can’t afford a new iPhone or a vacation in Brazil to your friends. If you are confident that you work twice as much as anyone in your office, support your claim with evidence. Complaints won’t help you get the desired raise; they will rather irritate your boss.
Another big no-no is to threaten your boss that you’ll quit if they don’t give you a raise. If your arguments don’t convince them that you deserve it (or the company can’t provide increase in salaries for whatever reasons), they can actually fire you – and this isn’t the result you came for, is it?
- Be ready to hear ‘No’
Despite all your thorough preparation and negotiation skills, the odds are that the manager will refuse to give you a pay raise. He may decide that the results you have showcases are not enough to increase your salary, or the company just doesn’t provide the funding for increasing salaries. If you got the “No” answer, ask your boss about the constructive feedback about why they turned down your request, Forbes.com recommends. You should also ask about when you can bring up the issue again and under which terms.
- Ask about what you should achieve to be granted a salary raise
If your request has been turned town, this doesn’t mean it’s a final decision. Ask what is expected from you to be granted a raise in the future. As soon as you get the answer from your boss, you’ll have a clear target to aim for and as soon as you achieve it, the salary increase is almost guaranteed.However, if the boss doesn’t tell you which results you should achieve to get a pay raise, it means that they don’t have clear expectations from you in this role. Under these terms, you’ll find it hard to earn more or advance your career.
As it has been stated above, many bosses believe that the employees are satisfied with the level of pay up until they bring up the subject. So, never hesitate to ask for a raise, especially if you have serious accomplishments at hand and believe that you deserve it. Your initiative will likely be rewarded by the management.
What if you’re not given a pay raise?
If it’s the first time you’ve asked for a raise and the boss rejected your request, that’s ok. Maybe, you’ve failed to persuade the managers that your contribution is worth paying more, or you’ve came up with your request at the wrong time (see point 1 above).
However, if it’s the second or even third time that your request is not being fulfilled even despite you’ve done what was expected of you (check point 9), be cautious. Sometimes dishonest bosses use the promises to increase the salary to make the employees work harder and take on more tasks for free. In this case, it’s better to start looking for a new job.
Want to get your old, boring resume updated at a reasonable fee? Check our resume writing and editing services. Our writers possess years of experience in nearly every industry and know how to make your resume shine. You can also send us your resume for a free resume critique to find out whether your resume needs rework.
Have you ever negotiated a huge pay raise?