For some reason, my wife decided to ask this question, “If I work, how do I tell my boss I want a raise?” I could not help but wonder if she is trying to tell me, “I want that pair of shoes because I work so hard at home.”
Well, anyway, her question inspired me to create this post for all of you. Surely, it is not only she who struggles with asking for salary increases. I have to do that once in a while. In fact here’s my story of how I increased my salary last year. The problem is many are apprehensive to do it for fear they’re going to be kicked out from work!
So you’d feel more confident, here are my best suggestions:
The last thing you want to do is to give your boss a lot of reasons not to increase your salary. Become one of the most valuable employees. Besides, if he means business, you do so too. Don’t complain when you need to log extra hours or have to bring some files back at home or when work steals your weekends. Do more than what is required of you and make sure your efforts don’t go in vain.
Be firm about it
I can easily tell a good sales rep from a bad one by his demeanor and manner of speech. If he seems to falter or not confident at all with what he’s doing, I immediately decide not to get anything from him. People who lack confidence are not trustworthy. If they can’t trust themselves, how can I ever trust them, right?
It’s the same thing at work. If you want to persuade your boss you deserve the raise, then better make sure it’s what you really want and you’re full of confidence about it. Otherwise, it’s going to be so easy for your boss to say no, and you have no other choice but to accept it.
Be open for an evaluation
If you’re working under someone else’s supervision, then you’ll definitely be evaluated. Don’t be scared about it. In fact, embrace it. If you get great scores or feedback, then you have the tools you need to prove you deserve the raise. On the other hand, if the grade is fair, you can always ask for tips and some coaching from your supervisor or manager, so you’ll be able to raise your figures during the next round of evaluation.
Stop comparing your salary to others
Please don’t ever tell your boss you want a raise because your friend just received his. In the first place, it’s an implied rule you should never discuss your salary with the others in the workplace. Managers and business owners have their own reasons why you didn’t get one while others did. It may sound unfair, but that’s how things really work. Rather than whine about it, approach your manager and ask what you can do to deserve a raise.
Talk to your immediate supervisor first
If you need a salary raise, don’t immediately go to the higher-ups, especially if your organization recognizes hierarchy or chain of command. Instead, appeal to your direct supervisor. Let him know about it, and he’ll be the one to raise the issue to the management. This is also good too since your supervisor can vouch for you. After all, he’s the one who sees all your efforts.
Check if the contract says something about it
When you need additional wages or a boost in your income, it’s time to pay a visit to your contract. What does it say? Does it inform you about how salaries are being computed? Your contract may tell you how often you should receive a salary increase and how it shall be computed. You can use this as additional proof.
Just say it
In truth, there’s no definite rule on how to request for a salary increase, unless stated in your office handbook or work code. The easiest is to simply express it. Your boss may or may not be open to it, but the most important thing is you get the word out. The ball isn’t in your court anymore.
Learn to understand
There will be times when you really cannot expect a salary increase. For example, your business may be suffering from the effects of recession. It’s impractical and rude to demand one at a time when the company needs you to be very understanding. Also, remember when you do good, you’ll definitely be rewarded. If your boss sees how much effort you put on your job even if they cannot guarantee you with any increase, he’ll definitely be more open-minded to it and may even hand you what you need as soon as the economy starts picking up.
Now the other important aspect is to know what not to say when asking for a raise.
- I need more money to feed my family – Fine, get another job, this is what we can pay. Don’t beg for the raise, maintain dignity.
- Alan makes more money than I do – So you talk about confidential matters in office? I see! You may get in to the black book, sir!
- Because of recent layoffs, my work load increased – Oh really? Do you want your entire work load to be taken off?
- It has been a year since I had my raise – Only one year! Thank god that you didn’t have a pay cut.
- I got a new certificate/degree – A new degree doesn’t mean you are doing more work.
- I’ll quit if I don’t get a raise – Unless you’re an exceptional talent and people of aware of it, You will land up with no job in the end.
It’s normal for any employee to demand a higher salary. It is even your right. But ensure you do it properly and at the right time.
Readers, if you are managers or employee who dealt employee salary in the past, would you like to share your experience, good or bad, on negotiation table?