Thursday, December 12, 2019
How to Negotiate a Salary Increase
Knowledge is Power: Do your homework before stepping into that review
Track Accomplishments: Only you are completely aware of the role you hold in the company, and you need to let your boss know what you have accomplished for the company in the last year. Keep tabs on your accomplishments, noting major projects and successes you were responsible for. You may want to keep a running list for yourself, reviewing your work weekly or monthly, noting successes and understanding how future wins were built on those successes. If possible, track them in relation to business metrics and outcomes. By identifying your accomplishments, you build a case to your manager of your business value.
Know Your Worth: Yes, you may want a raise, but first you should know what similar roles pay in your industry and in your geography. Look for salary surveys published in your industry. For us wine professionals, start by reviewing the Wine Business Monthly's Annual Salary Survey. (You can find this year's here.) You may also want to use the salary calculators on sites such as Salary.com or Glassdoor.com.
When you get into salary discussions, you want to know where your own compensation fits within industry standards. If your wages are significantly lower than industry standards, state that and give a number that is more appropriate for your role. If they are above, perhaps a title change and additional responsibilities would make your request for a bigger salary easier to approve.
Know the Value of Your Total Benefit Package: Don't forget to factor in your benefits and perks when looking at your compensation. Some companies can offer very robust benefits but keep to a tight salary figure. When you are going into salary negotiations, know the value of the total package. You may want to have some ideas on perks that you value. Things like flextime, additional vacation days and wine allocations are all items that you may desire that the company could easily give you. You may only get those perks if salary increases are impossible, so make sure your requests are valuable to you.
Know Your Number: Going through your accomplishments, looking at your current salary and benefits and knowing industry salary averages, put together a few different desired compensation scenarios. Knowing the package you want allows you to present a realistic number to your boss. She may have a different number in mind. With your knowledge of all of the components of the compensation allows you to negotiate on different items, including salary, bonus, commissions and benefits.
Pay Attention to What's Going on Around You: If you just heard that the whole international team was sacked to cut operating costs, your salary increase may be impossible. Don't think you can't talk about a salary increase. You can still explain your accomplishments and a fair compensation plan for your. While it might not happen if the company can't do it, having the conversation and showing your worth to your boss can pay off in the future, when business has improved.
Use Your Advantage: Going into your review you have a lot of information about the company, the team and your job. Employee retention is a huge goal for good companies, and those companies want to keep good employees. While you are asking for a raise, you are also showing what a great employee you are and showing how important you are to the company. Often an employer will recognize this, and give you a performance based increase.
Learn to Love the Word No: No one wants to go into a meeting with her boss and hear no. Whether it is a no for a request for time off or the dreaded no to a request for a raise, that little word has a lot of power. You may go into the meeting trying to please your boss. Well, you could probably really please her if you didn't ask for a raise and accepted it if she said no. Remember, this is a time to show your worth, and you want to prove that you are a good negotiator. Turn your fear of no into a love of it. You may want to lead your request for a raise by saying something along the lines of "I'd like to discuss my salary with you today. I have put together some information about my contributions to the company. Let's review this and then discuss my current salary and potential future salary. I understand if this increase can't happen immediately, but do want to start the conversation." You may even want to get your boss to say no during the discussion, and for you to say no too. By inviting no, hearing no and saying no yourself can create a good dialogue in the meeting and create a give-and-take scenario during the discussion. It also shows your boss that you can talk about your salary rationally, which invites sound decision making on both sides of the discussion.
Stay Positive: You may go into this meeting feeling confident in your ability to win an increase. There may be external factors at play that you aren't privy to. You want your boss to be an ally, and you may want to look at creative ways to still improve your role and position in the company while leaving the door open to a salary increase in the future. Positive discussion points can include future career growth within the company, special projects that could use your talents, and mentorship opportunities within the organization.
Keep a Clear Head: While this is a nerve-wracking time for you, don't get emotional. Stay professional and calm. While you are proud of yourself and asking for monetary recognition, getting frustrated or angry can derail all of your hard work. Blowing up during the discussion will derail your hopes of getting a raise.
This is About Your Work, Nothing Else: While we can all say we need more money to take care of debts, help out an ill family member, or buy a new car, those factors mean nothing to your company or your boss. Your employer did not put those obstacles in your way, and does not need to remedy them for you. Keep your discussion based on your performance and salary information for your position. Bringing up personal issues doesn't help your negotiation position, and could possibly undermine it.
Don't Force It: While you may be focused on getting a raise, your boss may not have the ability to give anything during the meeting. She most likely needs to discuss it with management and human resources. Present your case, and leave the door open to salary discussions if there isn't an immediate answer during this discussion.
Stay Away From Ultimatums: This is not the time to say that you either get a raise or you quit. While you may think you are invaluable to your company, leaving them only the choice between a raise or your separation could backfire, causing you to be out of a job, and without any raise or future with the company.
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