Asking your boss for a raise can be a difficult and awkward conversation. Talking about money is uncomfortable for many people. Many employees struggle to know exactly how to bring it up, or what to say in the meeting. We’ve compiled a few tips and tricks that will help you navigate the situation, reduce stress, and help ensure you a good raise.
Going into a job interview without a plan won’t yield positive results. It’s important to know how much you can ask for and the best way to ask for it.
Before you think about asking your boss for a raise, it’s important to do research. The best place to start is by looking at other jobs in your field for comparable workloads and salaries. The Bureau of Labor Statistics has wage data on over 800 occupations and their average hourly or yearly salary. Another piece of helpful information could be looking at salary trends in your geographical area. Be prepared with a specific number for your boss. This makes you seem more informed, and you’re more likely to receive a better counter offer. It’s also important to note that the average raise is a 1%-5% increase. You want your offer to seem realistic and reasonable.
Review Past Achievements and Performance
When you’re ready to discuss your raise with your boss, it’s good to lead with a review of your past performance and work history. Good employees who work hard, earn awards, and help grow the company are a lot more likely to get raises. Your boss should be aware of all this, and in a perfect world, would give you a raise without you having to ask. But bosses are busy, and may not notice all the hard work you’ve put in. Showing what you’ve done for the company, and what you will keep doing for the company, places you in good standing to earn a raise.
It’s also very important that you actively promote your wins to upper management. If you can communicate to your boss that you are constantly exceeding expectations and take on more than is expected of you, you’re more likely to get a raise. When communicating these successes to your boss, don’t wait and tell them all at once. Rather, each time you know you’ve done a good job, make your boss aware, so you look like a consistent star performer. If you save a client, increase the company’s revenue, or completed a project that was beyond your normal responsibilities, let your boss know.
It’s critical to note that being a good worker, or working a lot of hours, isn’t enough to get you a promotion. You must demonstrate that you consistently go above and beyond expectations and bring added value to the company and/or your team. If you streamline a process to make it more efficient, increase sales revenue, or just increase the revenue of the company, show it. Let the numbers do a lot of the talking for you. Using statistics and data can be very convincing.
Don’t be afraid to shoulder more responsibility. A lot of workplaces tie an increase in salary to an increase in job duties. If you’ve taken more responsibilities on and haven’t received compensation,
You need to make sure that you’re solving problems associated with your current position, and start looking for solutions to problems you’d face in the job you want to have. The only way to do this is through careful time management. This shows organization and initiative, which makes you more qualified for a raise.
Being a successful employee who gets a raise is all about what you can do for the company. If you can solve the company’s problems, you get paid more. It’s important for you to know what your boss needs, and how you can fit into that part of the solution.
When you go in to meet with your boss and discuss your raise, remember why you’re there. It’s easy to get distracted with small talk or talk about other work related matters. Some small talk is good, and can put you and your boss at ease. When you begin talking about the raise, focus on why you deserve the raise, not why you need it. In a pure business world, your need for a raise doesn’t matter to your boss. They will be more inclined to give you a raise if you can show them that you deserve it. Most bosses would love to help employees who need raises, but that shows poor business responsibility. Keep the discussion focused on your performance and the positive impact you’ve had on the company.
Talking about your future at the company will help your boss see that you’re serious about working for them. They’re not very likely to give you a raise if your future at the company seems hazy. It makes sense to reward employees who have been at the company for a long time, and to reward them for committing to the future of the company. This allows you to tell them what you plan to do to help grow the company and expand it in the future.
Practicing your pitch before your meeting is critical to you getting a raise. Review talking points, practice phrasing, and even ask friends or family members to hold a mock meeting. The more practice you have, the more calm and collected you’ll be when tough questions come up. Consider as many possible responses as you can, and practice how you will respond to each of them. Practicing will make you more comfortable and better able to answer tough questions that come your way.
Don’t Get Discouraged
Your boss might not be interested in giving you a raise at the moment. Don’t let that discourage you. This doesn’t mean they aren’t open to giving you more money and ending the negotiation. Ask your boss for a performance review. Being unafraid to have your work analyzed without a moment’s notice is good because it puts you at the top of the list for performance reviews and shows how seriously you take your job.
If a raise isn’t in the pipeline now, you’ve done good work to put yourself at the top of the list next time raises are on the table.