How to ask for a salary raise

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How to ask for a salary raise

A much often questions which linger every employee at the end of the appraisal cycle. Some ask for a raise straight away and some don't. A lot of them don't succeed in getting the raise. Here are some pointers which will help.

Do your homework

Your homework consists of two bodies of evidence. 

  • One is benchmarks of salary ranges for your role in the company, across the industry, and in your region. 
  • Second is what evidence will you point to that supports your earning more.  What quantifiable contribution have you made?  Have you earned the organization, saved the organization, or improvements or innovations or recognitions?  Either internally or externally.

Once you know this evidence, next, how to start the conversation.  Give context: “Last year we talked about me growing in my role in compensation and you suggested that I bring it up at kind of X juncture.  And we're at that juncture because—“  Okay, what to say: “I've enjoyed the ways I've been able to grow my contribution over the past year.”  And then enumerate the salient, concrete successes.

You might continue and say, "And I feel ready to bring more value to the group".  And then fill in, telling them how you'd like to step up your contribution: "I want to ask about increasing my salary in order to align with the contributions that I've made this year and on par with the expanded contribution I will be making." So how do you calculate the value you bring in

Measure Your Worth So You Can Negotiate Your Worth

Before you can negotiate a raise, talk about the impact you’re having with your manager, or showcase your team’s accomplishments at a meeting, you first have to understand the underlying value you’re bringing. 

Understand how your organization makes money

The first place you can start is understanding how your organization actually makes money.  What’s their revenue stream?  What is it?  Calculate these figures by employee.

How you and your team are contributing to adding value

Next, analyze how you and your team are either increasing revenue or decreasing expenses.  You are doing one of the two.  Even if you are in a more support role, you are engaged in one of these two activities.  For example, if you are in accounting, you are monitoring and measuring expenses—ensuring that there are no discrepancies or errors.  This decreases expenses.  How does your team or project impact either the number of units sold, or the selling price?  How many more units do they sell as a result of your work? 

Map out your contribution

When you’re in HR, or accounting, or another more support-based function, it can feel more difficult.  But consider who your internal customers are.  What service do you provide them?  What is the ultimate outcome of their work, and what role do you have in this outcome?  Five percent?  Ten percent?  Twenty percent?  You can do the same calculations from a reduction and expenses perspective.  How does your work directly reduce program cost?  Often this can be where more support functions have value.  So, for example, an HR business lead could be adding value by increasing skill sets, facilitating effective teamwork, or decreasing overhead required to hire.  Each of these has a value to the business bottom line.  It’s directly bringing in revenue.  You are in essence reducing the cost to them of doing these activities themselves.

Calculate your ROI

Calculate your role’s return on investment, or ROI.  Is your value the amount you add to revenue or decrease from cost, more or less than what they pay you?  How much?  Take the amount of value and divide it by your annual salary.  Then analyze whether, on a project or activity level, the value you are bringing in through the project or activity is more or less than what you personally invested into it.  Remember, you need to think long-term.  The idea here is to use the language of value in an organization.  The more you’re able to quantify the value you bring, the more likely you are to be able to share that value with others in the organization.  They might not understand specifically what you do, but they can understand how you quantify the value.

Ask for the future, never the past

Always make your ask for the future.  State that you would like to increase your value to the organization, and then ask for a raise that is appropriate for the value that you will bring.  Make sure that you make it about the value that you will bring to the organization. 

Don't ever make it about you and your needs. 

"Well, we just bought a new house and we need the money for the mortgage."  Remember that, you know, your boss is human, too.  She or he has motivations, too, and will have to justify this to others. as well.  So think of your expansion of responsibilities in a raise in terms of what's in it for them.  How will they and the organization benefit from you getting this raise?

 

Often what is surprising is how undervalued your work is.  Understand it yourself, and then you can share it widely.  Let people know what you do, and why it matters.  And then, you can negotiate that salary. 

And if you still get a no or a nonresponse, then ask, "Can you help me understand what it will take in order to be eligible for a raise?"  And whatever you discuss there, that's your game plan for development this year.  You might also ask what the timeline they have in mind for revisiting the issue. 

Follow these guidelines.  They're a surefire way for you to get the raise you deserve. 

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