It can be tough to ask your boss for a raise. You don’t want to upset the cart. This exercise requires research, patience, tact, and diplomacy. It’s like asking someone out on a date. It can feel awkward and uncomfortable, but don’t show panic or nerves. There is a possibility of rejection, so be prepared for it, but, don’t forget to look on the bright side. If you are successful, the payoff can be worth the emotional aspects you have experienced in preparing and executing your pay raise strategy.
Here are some tips to help you get that raise you surely deserve.
In a tough economy, there are fewer pay raises when many people face layoffs and cut-backs. But in a good economy, asking for a pay raise is more acceptable and achievable. After all, you should be fairly compensated for your work. Feeling underpaid can affect your performance. It might trigger you to seek other opportunities externally.
To prepare for a salary increase, take stock and don’t assume you are entitled to a raise. Be bold and network with peers who hold a similar position at the competition. Ask them diplomatically for their opinion, and try to solicit their salary. Your research should dig deep.
Figure out the going rate, salary, compensation packages, and performance bonuses in your industry. Compare and build a compelling business case, highlighting standard salary figures across your industry. Executive recruiters may also be able to give you their professional input on salary scales. Websites like Glassdoor.com, PayScale.com, and Salary.com have crowdsourced figures for average compensation rates in specific professions and industries.
Pick your time carefully. Be courteous and polite in meeting with your boss or other decision maker. Respect their time and try to give them a heads up on the agenda. Don’t pop the question out of the blue or ambush them with a difficult request when they are least expecting it. Fit this request for a raise in with a general discussion around your career development. Also, review the financial health of the business before you raise this subject.
Ask, don’t beg. Emphasize your desire to bring your pay into closer alignment with your market value. Be confident, stick to the business, don’t bring up sob stories. Tales of personal woe or hardship will weaken your justification.
Frame your reasons in an added-value request. Highlight the benefits you brought to the business, the ROI to the company, supported by a list of your key accomplishments, identifying specific ways your work has helped the bottom line. And note your acceptance of new responsibilities. Quantify, quantify, quantify. Let the numbers speak on your behalf. Make the case that paying more will be a bargain.
However, prepare for the worst, including possible rejection. Don’t despair, and avoid sulking. Don’t threaten to resign, but exhibit a professional approach. Thank your boss for hearing the request and maybe ask for reconsideration.
The best employers don’t hesitate to reward employees if a salary increase makes business sense. Managers know that an underpaid employee is likely to underperform and may look at other opportunities. I, personally and professionally, fully embrace pay equity and have written about this topic on many occasions across my social media posts. Pay equity in today’s world is important and employers should embrace it. Therefore, if you are a woman, shoot for equity!