Negotiating a pay raise
Tuesday, 18 October 2016
A recent Payscale survey found that nearly 60 percent of workers have never asked for a raise.
It also found that 44 percent of those who did, got one—and those who asked tended to be happier in their jobs than those who did not. If you're one of the majority who have not approached your boss about a raise, start a plan of attack now. Here are three steps you can take to negotiating a higher salary:
1. Remember: It's business, not personal
The PayScale survey found that employees often avoid negotiating their salary because they're worried about being fired or appearing too pushy. But a negotiation is not about whether people each other; it's about having a conversation with the goal of coming to a mutual decision that benefits both parties
A raise is obviously great for your bank account, but it can good for your employer, too. If you're valuable, your company and manager stand to benefit by keeping you on and avoiding the expense and hassle of replacing you. A good manager also appreciates that an employee who feels valued—including being adequately compensated—is a happier, more innovative worker, studies have found.
2. Know how much to ask for in a raise by doing your research
Understand your value in the marketplace. Check sites like PayScale and CareerBuilder, look at comparable job postings, ask your colleagues, and inquire with industry associations and recruiters. Then, define your boss's and the company's greatest needs and challenges. Understand how your past performance and current skills address those pain points.
Whenever possible, quantify your success and try to put a number on it. Prove how your marketing efforts drove this much more traffic to the company's web site, or that you exceeded sales goals, which meant X million dollars in more revenue for them. If your firm's top priority is to grow a certain segment of their business, show how your deep contacts in that group have already led to the bottom line, and can stand to contribute even more next year.
Also, consider timing. If it's been more than a year since your raise or hire, or evaluations are just several months away, now is a good time to approach the boss. Most companies stipulate a certain sum of money for payroll, raises, and bonuses, and some of that can decided based on performance reviews. That said, even if your colleagues warn you that a raise is not likely, consider going for it anyway. But if there have been massive layoffs or any other kind of financial crises, you probably won't gain anything from going for it.
3. Understand how to talk to your boss about a raise
Approach your boss about meeting to discuss your salary. Keep communication in line with your normal exchanges. For example, if your boss is typically very direct, also be direct. If you have frank weekly lunch meetings, bring it up then. If you chat face-to-face throughout the day, it may seem unusually passive to suddenly approach them by email. Likewise, if you're on instant message throughout the workday, suddenly popping into their cubicle could be surprising.
During the meeting, keep the tone light, direct, and non-emotional (it's business, not personal!). Arrive armed with documents that back your performance, but start with a verbal, top-line summary of your accomplishments, as well as any additional responsibilities you've taken on during your tenure. Don't forget to position your case to appeal to their interests. And don't take for granted that your boss is aware of all of your duties or successes. If your research indicates you're paid below market, mention that, too. After detailing your value to the company, say something like, "I believe my accomplishments deserve a salary of X, based on what other positions are paying, and my successes for the company."
Have a Plan B. In the event you're turned down, ask about other benefits. For example, see if your company pays a "spot bonus," a reward for a single project done well. Or counter with a more flexible work schedule, more vacation time, or increased training possibilities. If you're find difficulty getting a raise in your current situation, consider looking for a new job. Some of the biggest pay raises typically come when workers switch companies.
The content provided is for informational purposes only. Neither BBVA USA, nor any of its affiliates, is providing legal, tax, or investment advice. You should consult your legal, tax, or financial consultant about your personal situation. Opinions expressed are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily represent the opinions of BBVA USA or any of its affiliates.
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