Many of us feel we deserve a raise, but not everyone will ask for extra money.
Suppose you are ready to bite the bullet. In that case, there are several steps you can take before asking for a salary increase that can boost your chances of achieving a raise.
Remember, pay increases depend on many factors, from expertise to experience to meeting targets.
Correct Process for Salary Increases
Asides at office parties and blurting ‘I deserve a raise’ in front of colleagues are not the ways you’ll claim a salary increase. Any request for a raise should be a formal written document that will go into your employee file. Remember to track everything you do.
Before asking for a meeting, follow these steps to give yourself the best chance of a pay rise.
- Research: Know the regional and national average salaries for your position
- Preparation: Understand why you think you deserve a raise and its reasons.
- Deliver your written request: Hand your document to your superior by hand, email, or in a meeting.
- In-person meeting: Schedule an appointment or discuss your raise in your following review. Early afternoons and end-of-week are best.
Think Carefully About Why You Deserve a Raise
Your employer will ask you many questions about why you deserve a raise. Take time to reflect on why you should get an increase. Ask yourself the following questions and be satisfied that the answers justify your request.
Do I Deserve a Pay Rise?
Understanding what is driving your desire for a raise can help you avoid pitfalls when the meeting with your supervisor arrives. If you cannot justify a salary increase to yourself, your employer is unlikely to be convinced by your request for more money.
Do you want a raise, so you have more spending money? Or because you want to be rewarded for hitting targets?
- Do you add value to the company? How? Prepare examples.
- Are you paid above or below the national and local average salary for your position?
- Does your salary meet your experience, skills, and project delivery?
Write your accomplishments and worth in a list.
Also, ask yourself why you want a raise. Do you feel underappreciated, or are you hankering for a career change? What will make you happy? Perhaps you want more responsibility or take the next step up the career ladder. Or has flexi-time become more critical?
When Was the Last Time Your Salary Was Raised?
New recruits and those recently given a pay packet boost are unlikely to get pay raises.
However, suppose you have not had a raise for a year or more and have taken on more responsibility or completed extra tasks in that timeframe. In that case, you could be due a raise.
Draw a timeline of your career with your employer. Write down all your achievements and extra responsibilities since you started work for them, and mark all previous raises and amounts. The timeline task will bring into focus your work progress and any relevant rewards.
Timing Is Everything for Salary Raises
A business often goes through fluctuating financial states. Asking for a raise just after a loss warning demonstrates a lack of business knowledge and makes it hard for an employer to fulfil your demands.
Always ask for a raise just after you’ve completed a task. Ideally, follow business profits, so you time your increase during profitable times.
How Much More Should I Ask For?
Research told you what your peers receive, both nationally and locally, and how that compares to your current remuneration.
You need to have a figure in mind as to what you deserve, based on realistic wage bands tied to your performance and experience.
Use these numbers in the interview to back up your raise request. If successful, experienced workers deserve to be at the top of the pay scale, explain why that description fits you. Aim high and have the lowest acceptable number in mind, too.
Remember, you can use holidays, flexible working, shares, and expenses as bargaining chips, too.
Don’t be afraid to walk away and try again further down the line. Don’t accept something you are unhappy with because this will only cause resentment.
Am I Valuable to the Business?
Arm yourself with examples of good work that has boosted the business. You need to demonstrate to your superiors what you bring to the company that makes you indispensable.
Facts and figures, such as increases in sales, customer retention, and profits, all augment your claim. Key performance indicators (KPIs) are a great tool.
Calculate your value concerning the roles and tasks you perform. Reference your career timeline and explain how your position has evolved over your career with the company. Show them how you wish to progress.
How Do I Approach My Boss for a Raise?
There is no 100% correct way to approach your superiors for a raise. Most people gauge the day’s mood and combine a verbal and written tactic.
There are a few general rules to observe depending on your work environment. You’ll need to trust your instincts on whether verbal, written, or a combination is best.
Whatever you do, prepare yourself ahead of asking. Your superior may say, ‘Let’s do it now.’ You don’t want to be caught unprepared. Verbal requests should be discreet and followed up by a written document.
Written communication is fine, too. Word it positively and proactively, listing some of your achievements, how much you enjoy the job, being a team member, and goals completed. Briefly state why you deserve a raise, e.g., service length, achievements, time since the last raise, and how your salary compares to industry peers.
Some people put a ballpark raise figure into the letter; others leave it for the meeting. Adding the desired amount gives your manager time to consider your offer. Remember to put in your highest amount because your employer may offer less.
Finish it all with a request for a meeting to discuss your proposal.
What to Do if Your Salary Increase Is Rejected?
The company may accept your proposal in full, you could negotiate, or the firm could reject it outright.
Be sure your initial proposal satisfies your needs. If you have negotiated to a lower increase, again, it has to be one you are happy to accept.
If your request is rejected, ask your employer for feedback and reasoning. Take time to consider their observations and return to this process’s starting point: ‘Do I deserve a pay rise?’
Understand your options if you stay with your employer and how that affects your career, financial situation, and happiness. Look at the job market and see if there are better offers for someone with your experience and skills.
If you start to look at new beginnings, reflect on the implications of moving job. Will you need to relocate? Join a larger company?
Overall, this journey should help you unlock the underlying reasons for wanting a raise. It could simply be your work should be rewarded commensurably. Be open to the fact you may be ready to move up the career ladder, change company, career, or even city.
Humans are complicated creatures, and by understanding your driving emotions, you will find the right job — and salary — for you.