No matter how you look at it, asking for a raise is one of the most difficult things to do at work. Even if your boss is friendly and understanding, raising the topic is never easy. But you will need to do that, especially when you know you deserve more than what you currently earn.
While some organizations review employee performance and salary structure at regular intervals, some do not bother with that. If you work in such an organization, asking for a raise will be the only way to be paid fairly. However, you will have to do it the right way, which is what this post is all about.
Ideally, employees are not expected to ask for a raise more than once in a year. While some organizations review performance and salary at regular six months interval, increment in salary normally come once a year. Asking more frequently is not proper, especially if your first request was granted. However, if your employer promised to give you a raise months ago and hasn't done that, you can ask for the raise after four-six months.
There are a few more exceptions to the ‘once-in-a-year’ ideal situation. If your company has reached a new milestone or you played a significant role by landing a big client, securing a major grant, or introducing a major cost-saving strategy, you are within your rights to ask for a raise. This shouldn’t be done multiple times in a year, however. Twice a year is understandable.
Asking for a raise is not a guarantee that you will get it. There are ways to approach the issue and stand a better chance of getting what you want. Here are a few tips on how to go about it:
Most business owners and managers take employee compensation seriously. Many will never approve a raise until they are convinced that it is necessary. When you approach your boss for a raise, the ball is in your court to convince him/her that you deserve the raise. That means you need to prepare for it. One of the easiest ways to do this is to keep a journal of your accomplishments on the job so that you can easily point at pieces of evidence that you deserve the raise.
It is pretty easy to convince bosses with results that had an impact on the bottom line of business operations. Another compelling rationale for a raise is evidence of additional responsibility. In this case, you can also point to projects you have completed successfully as well as new skills you have acquired to make you better at your work.
Timing is also very important if you want to succeed in getting a raise. You shouldn't approach your boss for a raise when the company is not doing well. You should also keep your planned meeting on hold if the organization is obviously not operating efficiently. Even when everything seems okay and your boss appears to be having a bad day, don't ask for a raise yet.
It will also help if you ask for a raise a couple of months before raises are normally awarded in your workplace. This will give your boss the time to consider your request, review the points you raised as reasons for asking, and possibly relate the information to others whose opinions are needed before a decision is made. You can also make your request a few months after a significant achievement.
The way you present your request to your boss matters a lot. You should never whine about how others are being paid better than you. You shouldn’t also complain about working harder than anyone else. Complaining will not convince your boss. Rather, it will cast you in a bad light and may even cost you your job. Try to be persuasive, instead.
To persuade your boss to give you a raise, you need to base your request on facts. These facts shouldn’t be about your personal expenses. Rather, they should be about the results you have achieved for the company and how you have become more instrumental in achieving the company’s business objectives. You can point at your new skills, additional roles, and recent accomplishments. These facts form a compelling rationale for a raise.
Securing a promotion is significantly better than seeking a regular raise. The pay enhancement is always better than what you can expect when you ask and get a raise. You need to be proactive and willing to take your shot once there is a suitable opening above your level. You can also get a promotion if you can justify reclassifying your job at a higher level.
You don't have to wait for management to offer you the role. You don't even have to wait until a vacancy is announced. Once you are convinced that you are qualified for the promotion and ready to substantiate your claim, approach your boss and make your request.
Are you ready to ask your boss or manager for a raise? The best practices for asking and receiving include:
Asking for a raise is normal and professional, especially if your company doesn't offer raises on a consistent interval, and you know you deserve a raise. Asking in person is always more effective, but you can consider an email if you feel more comfortable writing or your boss prefer email as the official communication channel. Be confident when you make your request and always have a plan B.