I get a lot of questions on how to ask for a raise at work. This, I believe, is a good thing. People want the people skills and tools to make the best of life in general, and getting more money for their work is one particular manifestation of this.
There is plenty to be said on using people skills to get a raise at work. I almost did a whole day training once on how to ask for a raise at work. However, at this point, four important points come to mind as the key people skills tools to apply when asking for a raise. Here they are:
1. Schedule a special discussion just for this
You don’t want to just drop a hint that you would like to make more money while chitchatting with your manager in the elevator. Subtle hints like that are easy to ignore by an employer, especially those hints that suggest taking more money out of their pocket.
Instead, what you want to do is tell your manager you want to schedule a 30 min. private meeting with them, for an “important discussion” (yeas, the discussion can take that long). Preferably, don’t go into all the details of the discussion right then. Focus on scheduling it and leave the rest for the actual moment when it takes place.
2. Back up your request with solid arguments
The way I see it, a good request for a raise starts like this:
- You thank your manager for the time they’re giving you;
- You tell them the discussion concerns a potential salary raise;
- You present the arguments for a raise;
- You state the exact raise you want.
From there, a negotiation will frequently take place.
The most important step in this first phase is the third one: presenting the arguments. You want to back up your raise request with solid facts. You want to prove that your value for this organization has increased, present real results and indicators of performance. Your value for the organization is in my view, the only real justification for a raise.
3. Ask for more than you think you deserve
Once you decide how big you want your raise to be, set a slightly higher raise that you will ask for. I know that you may have the opposite impulse, to sell yourself short, but it is important to push yourself and ask for more, not less.
I say this is important for two reasons. The first reason is that you may get more than you actually deserve simply because you’ve asked for it and done so in a way demonstrating confidence and good people skills. The second reason is that it leaves significant room for negotiation.
4. Don’t let excuses get in the way of your raise
Many employees will present objections for a raise which have nothing to do with fairness and equity, but with more emotional factors. I call this making excuses. Practice distinguishing excuses from solid objections and do not let excuses make you abandon a raise request.
For example, many employees will bring this excuse: “If we give you a raise, your colleagues who will have lower salaries will want one as well”. The fact is, this is not your concern. If you deserve a raise, you should get one no matter how your colleagues will react.
Ultimately, I see getting salary raises as a natural part of work and a result of increasing the value you provide. It’s best not only to know how to ask for a raise, but also to realize you are entitled to it.
I have seen many times as a communication coach how with good people skills and a big dose of confidence, you can create incredible salary increases for yourself.
Image courtesy of thinkpanama