One of the pertinent reasons people seek a secure job with a reputed company is the compensation package. The salary, medical benefits, travel expenses, and many other perks are often a part of this package. The take-home salary is, of course, what matters the most. This is what you finally get after all the taxes and deductions have been made.
However, as your role and responsibilities increase after a period; and you feel like you deserve a hike in your salary, ask for it. Asking for a raise from your employer is not outrageous. It is simply a request that you get paid in accordance with the role you are playing in the company’s progress and that your efforts be recognized.
The extra money you start making will eventually lead to a better lifestyle for you and your family, making you a happier employee. One of the reasons disgruntled employees leave an organization is that they feel that their efforts are not appreciated.
An employee who feels taken care of will work more pro-actively towards the betterment of the organization, reaping more profits in the process. It is a continuous cycle, and any reasonable employer will understand that. Hence, if you deserve it, asking for a raise should not be intimidating for you.
Why is it Difficult to Ask for a Raise?
Despite all the reasonable arguments regarding why it is perfectly alright to ask for a raise, the task might still seem quite challenging. The question is, how much of a raise should you ask for. Will it be too much or too little?
You have to remember that every move in your organization is often scrutinized by HR. How you ask for a raise and how assertive you were while asking for it also shows your strength of character and belief in yourself. Sometimes the employer doesn’t offer a raise simply because the employee hasn’t asked for it!
While every organization has an appraisal period, the company’s raise might seem inadequate if you feel that your responsibilities within the organization have exceeded by a considerable margin. This is when you can evaluate how much you should be getting paid and present your case accordingly.
Tips on How to Ask for a Raise?
Once you have decided that you are going to speak to your employer about asking for a raise, you need to come up with a proper approach. Timing is everything. Here are some tips that will make it easier for you to speak to your employer.
#1. Listing your Accomplishments
When you ask for a raise, you should have a very good reason behind it, and your employer should see it right away. You have to remember that your boss deals with multiple employees every day. It might not immediately occur to them what your accomplishments have been in the last six months to one year. Hence, writing them down always helps.
Give your employer the data that supports your argument in writing. While you do not have to make an elaborate presentation, you can still print out a list of your accomplishments and how it has added to the revenue of the company or resulted in the successful completion of projects. You can also compare how your current performance was better in comparison to your previous year’s performance, justifying the raise you are asking for.
#2. Range of a Competitive Salary in your Position
When you ask for a raise, you must have a clear idea of the current range of salary for an employee of your designation. While there are always some changes according to an organization’s internal, the general salary bracket remains more or less the same. So are you getting paid at the lowest margin of the spectrum or barely above it?
In that case, you can politely tell your employer about the competitive salary for someone in your designation and responsibilities without directly bringing up the names of other organizations.
#3. Highlight What the Company Gets in Turn
It is important to understand that your employer will not do you a favor by giving you a raise. Looking after an employee and giving them fair pay is an investment that ensures very high returns in the future. And your employer needs to hear that when you ask for a raise.
When you list your accomplishments within the organization, always make sure to tie them up with how the company has benefitted in the process. Your employer should understand that your personal goals are aligned with those of the organization, and the raise will motivate you to perform even better. Finally, have it all down in writing, with a final request for what you expect to get paid.
This is one of the most crucial aspects you need to remember while asking for a raise. Your employer will not believe in you if you do not believe in yourself. All the research and data you have put in the request will mean little if you cannot present them confidently.
Asking for a raise is just the beginning. If you get the raise, you also need to be prepared to work harder than ever before. Your boss needs to know that it was a good decision to honor your request for a raise, or else the next appraisal would be less than a year away, and things could very well go the other way.
Mistakes to Avoid while Asking for a Raise
The art of negotiation and winning is something worth mastering. And when you ask for a raise, be prepared to negotiate with your employer. And here are some mistakes that you should avoid while doing it.
#1. Not Understanding the Appraisal Cycle
When you ask for a raise, you should understand the appraisal cycle of your organization. For example, does it happen once a year simultaneously for all the employees? Or does it happen around the time when the employee first joined the organization? Suppose you have already had a regular appraisal less than a year back. In that case, it is unlikely that you will get a raise before the year is over, no matter how reasonable it is.
A good time would be to present your proposal about two months before the time of appraisal. This would give your employer the chance to think about your request. A last-minute request would hardly yield any results because the changes would already be made. You would be very likely asked to present your case the following year.
#2. Comparing your Hike
While salary packages of different employees are strictly confidential, a word often gets out from over-enthusiastic employees. Therefore, you mustn’t compare your achievements or raise with your colleagues, even if you have the same designation.
Focus on what you want for yourself and where you see yourself in the next couple of years. This is your battle, and comparisons with others might backfire if you bring it up with your employer.
#3. Unreasonable Negotiations
One of the biggest mistakes you could make while asking for a raise is making unreasonable demands without backing it up with adequate data. For example, your company policy might award a 4% hike during the appraisal period. Instead, you could ask for a 6% to 8% raise, depending on your current role in the organization.
However, if you ask for a 15% to 20% raise without good reason, then your request would be rejected right away. Unless and until you are sure that the percentage is justified and you have the data to back it up, do not ask for excessive amounts, assuming your employer might give in. You have to remember that your employer regularly deals with such requests and has a fairly good idea of a deserving raise. Keep it realistic, and you would have far greater chances of being heard.
#4. Not Respecting Unique Scenarios
When you ask for a raise, try to be mindful of the unique situations that might often arise at the workplace. For example, has the office had a poor quarter with low sales? Has someone in the office recently passed away, or is your boss dealing with a personal loss? Have there been too many layoffs recently?
Asking for a raise at a bad time will push back your request by months, so it is crucial that you time your request properly.
#5. Being Too Compliant or Too Pushy
When you first go in with your request, your employer will likely say something along the lines of the time not being right as the company is going through a difficult phase.
However, if you know about your company’s recent bouts of successes, then you could turn the argument in your favor. But try not to be pushy. Instead, show your employer that you are ready to go into a discussion and that you would appreciate it if they went through your written request in the meantime.
Do not ask for a raise immediately after one breakthrough in your career. Rather, let your list of successes build-up for a while so that you have enough to show when you ask for the raise.
If everything goes well, you should have secured the raise you wanted or at least received a percentage of it. Nevertheless, you would have made a mark on your employer and got noticed. Take this victory in your stride and keep working hard. When it is time for the next appraisal or promotion, the chances are high that your employer will consider you for it. Once your boss notices that it was a good decision to give you a raise, there could be other perks that would follow, making it the perfect scenario where both parties stand a chance to gain something.