In 2019, about 50 percent of U.S. workers didn’t get a pay rise
If you’re among these workers, you’re probably trying to figure out why your employer didn’t increase your salary. Maybe the company has a policy of making annual wage increments, but for some reason, nothing has been forthcoming lately. Or you’ve been an outstanding employee and you feel your efforts warrant a pay rise.
Regardless of your specific circumstances, you can always make the first move and negotiate a raise in your salary. However, this requires tact; otherwise, you could end up shooting yourself in the arm.
Continue reading for pro tips on how to score yourself a raise even when your employer wasn’t planning for it.
Let Your Work Do the Talking
Negotiating a raise doesn’t begin on the negotiation table. It begins long before you even think of approaching your employer for a wage increment.
You see, you’re legally entitled to at least the minimum wage. A wage increment, though, isn’t a legal requirement. You can’t sue your employer because they have never increased your salary,
So, what’s the best way to show your boss that you deserve a raise?
Put in a proper shift always.
In most workplaces, especially small ones, hard work rarely goes unnoticed. Your supervisor or boss easily notices standout employees.
If you’re in sales, for instance, let your sales record do the talking. Strive to secure more clients or make more sales. If you’re in marketing, develop killer campaigns.
That being said, you should be a consistent performer. Don’t be those employees who totally smash it in a particular month, but are nowhere to be seen in the next month.
You might not know it yet, but you’re slowly building a solid case for a salary raise.
Prepare a Record of Your Accomplishments
At this point, you’re conscious of the fact that you want a raise.
Maybe you create pay stubs every month and every time you look at your net salary, you feel that it doesn’t reflect the amount of effort you put in. You might be tempted to walk into your boss’ office one morning and get straight to the point, but you won’t be doing yourself any favors. Who knows, you might find your boss in a foul mind, and with that, your chances of having a productive conversation will fly off the window.
You need to proceed with a strategy.
Start by preparing a record of your recement accomplishments. If you’ve been an employee of the month a couple of times or received any other workplace award include it in your file. If you’ve received recognition from an external organization, find the certificate you received (if any) and throw it into your file.
Your accomplishments carry the biggest raise when you want to negotiate a salary increase. When your boss inevitably asks you to give a good reason why you deserve a raise, you can confidently say something like “Over the past 12 months, I have been the top sales performer, with my sales volume increasing month over month.”
However, when you have no accomplishments to your name, you’ll find yourself giving lame reasons, like “Boss, I have been working for this company for 5 years. I believe I deserve a raise.”
Sure, some employers reward loyalty, but they mostly do it at their own pleasure. When you’re angling for a raise, the one thing you want to wear on your sleeve is your accomplishments – not your loyalty.
Know How Much Raise You Want
You want a raise. How much?
A 20 percent increase? 50 percent?
While we would all want a substantial increment, the increment you need shouldn’t be a randomly-generated figure. Research the market and establish how much your peers in larger organizations are earning. You want your salary to be close to that, especially if your work performance is impressive.
It’s also important to look at salary increment trends at your job. If your employer has a habit of making 20-25 percent salary increments, you’re better off sticking within this range.
Get Your Timing Right
You’ve prepared your case, perfected your arguments, and crafted answers to any question your employer might ask you.
The only thing remaining? Setting up a meeting with your boss and presenting your case.
Your timing can make or break your case.
Ideally, you want to talk about a raise when your employer is in a good mood. If you find them when they’ve had a terrible meeting with a client or when something is going wrong in the organization, they can simply turn down your request right there.
Try to approach your employer after something positive has happened in the organization. For example, if the company just reported its earnings and the numbers were impressive, you might want to capitalize on this window. The boss is likely in the best mood.
Another good time is immediately after you’ve secured a big client. The boss will be aware of what securing the client means to the company’s bottom line and they might just reward you with a raise.
Bring Your A-Game to the Negotiation Table
Finally, you’ve secured a meeting with your employer. It’s time to put your negotiation skills to work.
A lot will depend on how your employer handles the request. Sometimes they can agree to your request without any deliberation. Other times they will put you to task, requiring you to justify your need for a raise. This is where you fish out your file, ready to read out your accomplishments.
Bear in mind that your employer might offer other forms of compensation or thrown in some incentives. Keep an open mind, know when to stand your ground, and when to take the deal.
Negotiate a Raise Successfully
A competitive wage is central to your satisfaction as an employee. While you hope that your employer will have your welfare at heart and increase your wage periodically, sometimes you have to take matters into your own hands. With this guide, you now have the information you need to negotiate a raise successfully.
All the best and keep reading our blog for more career and workplace tips.