Put These Tips Into Practice When Asking For That Next Big Raise!
By: Patty Prosser
Asking for a raise or more responsibility can be tricky to navigate, but a little preparation and persuasiveness will help you get the outcome you want! Take this real life situation one of my clients experienced:
“Brad” had been working hard and proving himself for years, but felt he was not being fully compensated for the additional work he continued to take on. Although he approached the subject with his boss on several occasions, he kept getting the same response, “The company is small and money is tight, so we simply cannot afford to pay you more.“ So, when Brad got a new supervisor six months later, he decided to talk about his compensation with his new boss. His supervisor listened, but said he felt it was “too soon” in his tenure to be making this type of change. However, he did offer the opportunity to discuss a raise again in six months and suggested Brad document his contributions to the company and do some research to be able to support what he was asking for.
So, Brad continued his stellar performance for the next six months. When he approached his boss again, his supervisor shared that he recognized Brad was a top-performer and believed he was deserving of a raise. He suggested that if Brad could find additional data to support his request, he could make a case. Brad, was obviously frustrated that his requests were continually pushed off for one reason or another. Brad reached out to me to help him strategize on how to get the raise he deserved. I worked with him on a strategy to identify a well-respected leader in the company who was willing to advocate for him with his supervisor and other leaders, based on the great work he had done in the organization. In the end, Brad got the raise he deserved!
It shouldn’t have been so hard.
In today’s competitive business environment, the key to getting more responsibility or getting a raise should be simple, as long as you are prepared with both knowledge and good negotiating skills. If you are encountering roadblocks in your request to ask for a raise or promotion or will have the opportunity to ask for one in the future, try these tips:
- Don’t Be Afraid To Ask. Be your own advocate! It’s important to have the confidence to ask for what you want, regardless of whether you’re asking for a raise or more responsibility. Make certain you make a good case, are respectful, and stand your ground. Remember, you don’t get things you don’t ask for.
- Make A Case For What You Do. Know your value and own what you bring to your role. Document the accomplishments you’ve made to the organization, how those things contributed to the business’s success, and what skills or abilities it showed you possess.
- Do Your Research. Rely on real data and facts. Know the minimum number that you will feel comfortable and rewarded by. Do the research to back up what you’re asking for regarding salary in combination with your experience and accomplishments. Find evidence of the salaries other companies offer to employees at your stage of leadership.
- Be Specific. Don’t be wishy-washy. Be clear and specific about what you want. Don’t dance around the issue.
- Gather Endorsements. Even though you might not need them, be ready to have other people endorse the work you have done and how it helped them achieve their business goals. Get testimonials or endorsements from peers, leaders, partners, and clients to demonstrate your value to the organization.
- Practice, Practice, Practice. Practice on your own in front of a mirror. Record yourself and watch it to see your facial expressions and body language. Ask a friend or colleague to play the devil’s advocate in a practice session to make sure you’re prepared for and questions or objections that can be thrown your way. This will help your performance and your ability to stand your ground, but it will also help you feel more prepared and confident in the conversation.
- And, Be Prepared To Walk Away, If Necessary. This is a great time to see if there’s a market for your skills elsewhere. You can test the market, but keep in mind, the grass isn’t always greener someplace else. The grass is greener where you water it!
Regardless of your situation- make a plan, set some goals, and the be patient!