What’s the real problem with asking for a raise?
After all, you’ve worked hard all year. Why shouldn’t you get a little extra for the hours you’ve put in? Maybe it’s related to guilt, low self-esteem or other factors, such as education, gender or race. In either case, we all know what it’s like to want to ask for a raise but stop short of asking for it.
Get the Raise You Deserve
Surely, there must be a way to ask for a raise without going through this emotional turmoil? Here are some ideas.
- Request Assessments – ask your manager for a yearly appraisal. If possible, ask for a 3 or 6 months review. While most people avoid these reviews, use them to your advantage. Use the assessments to remind your line manager and HR that you’ve achieved your goals and are one of the most productive members of the team.
- Create Targets – ask your manager to identify specific goals for you to accomplish. Make sure these are very specific and realistic targets. Enter these goals into your Calendar and other tracking software you use to reach your personal milestones. Train yourself to review your goals and discuss your progress with your manager between each review. Don’t overdo it; just keep it on the radar.
- Discuss Rates and Expectations – get confirmation from your manager that you will be eligible for a raise based on your performance. If your manager refuses to confirm this, then dont expect any raise. Instead do your work and look for more rewarding opportunities in the meantime. If they agree that raises will be offered to those who reach these targets, then make a note of the payment structure, e.g. percentage in line with inflation, percentage of sales, or a fixed payment. Some firms offer bonuses such as free gym memberships, discounts, and health benefits.
- Benchmark Rates – find out the national average for your role. Then investigate a little further and see what’s the local rates. You’re employer and HR Manager know this already. The more prepared you arrive, the better you can argue your case. During the assessments, go through each of the targets and get confirmation that you’ve reached your objective.
- Ask for the Raise – dont avoid asking for the raise at your assessments. Instead, introduce it into the meeting and ask, based on your performance to date, when and how much will be awarded. If your line manager is unable to share this information, ask when it will be forthcoming or whom you should speak to.
- Bonus v Raise – some companies prefer to award bonuses or rewards instead of cash payments to reduce their capital expenditure and help their own cash-flow situation. This means if a raise in your salary is impractical at that point, press them on other ways you can be rewarded for your hard work.
- Learn to Negotiate – shows like Pawn Stars offer great insights into how to negotiate. In the show, people want to sell (or pawn) their goods. The shop owners are very experienced at bargaining and use a variety of tactics to drive down the price. When you ask for a raise, be prepared to fight your corner. For example, if your employer is unable to offer a raise due to slow sales, ask for another benefit, such as the option to work from home, better health insurance, discounts, or better office equipment.
- Stand in their shoes – before you get into the negotiations, look at the situation from their perspective. Maybe they dont have any cash to offer you right now, maybe sales are very slow, and maybe there are redundancies ahead. Factor these into your future discussions and look for ways you can anticipate their rebukes or refusals. Sometimes you have to do the thinking for them, for example, by suggesting that you can work from home or work less hours for the same rate. After all, if you’re one of the most productive team members they have, they’ll want to keep you.
It’s all about getting a little extra for what you deserve. Remember, be as assertive as possible without getting too aggressive. Don’t expect your boss to volunteer a raise to you; instead look at ways you can create an expectation that you will be rewarded for your good work. Of course, if your efforts are not appreciated, then you owe it to yourself to be proactive and look elsewhere.
What’s the best way to ask for a raise?
What’s the worse that can happen?