You have sweated it out for the entire year, aced challenging assignments, nailed high-profile deals and felt like a shining star. When it is time to bring all this up at the discussion table for an appropriate reward or compensation hike, you must put your best foot forward. Here are a few ways you can adopt to make the conversation meaningful and make your boss look at the things, your way.
PONDER WHY YOU DESERVE A RAISE
Think of the definitive set of reasons why you deserve a pay hike. If you cannot convince yourself with solid reasons and arguments, you may not be able to sell the arguments to your manager either. As a starting point, go through the goals and objectives again and highlight that you have gone beyond the call of duty, taking on extra work and responsibilities.
Experts suggest, always aim to quantify your contribution with solid numbers. If you can demonstrate to your manager that you’ve exceeded the targets by X amount or attracted Y new clients, then it is a much clearer estimation of your value.
On the other hand, if your contribution cannot be so easily translated into definite numbers, think about what else you have done to improve the business. Have you helped with resolving the process gaps of your department or maybe introduced new ideas or work practices to improve the workplace efficiency? Ponder, and quantify.
RESEARCH & ASSESS YOUR WORTH
Conduct some research to identify what are the comparable pays for equivalent quantity or nature of work in other organizations. Internet job sites, independent websites and newspaper ads can give a reasonable clue. Often, many firms have strict rules on revealing staff pay. Avoid opening a conversation with your manager on a higher pay drawn by your colleague. While it is a good idea to know, you may not want to talk directly about this with your boss.
PEN DOWN YOUR KEY POINTS
Before meeting your manager, it might be a good idea to provide a written copy of your case in advance. A written document often gives a clear idea of your arguments, which your manager could then use to take your case further up with the senior management.
Don’t try to corner your manager:
No supervisor or manager will take it kindly if he or she is put in an odd spot. Be logical when it comes to a performance review session, and be ready to discuss instead of sheer venting out.
TIME YOUR CONVERSATION
Timing matters when it comes to a conversation of the pay hike. Planning to discuss this as a first thing on a Monday or late on a Friday is an absolute No-No. One survey zeroed-in on Wednesday as the day on which employers are most likely to be receptive of pay hike request. Think about the work patterns before you make your choice. Depending upon your location and work culture, the start and end of your working weeks may differ and hence this has to be borne in mind.
Try to schedule a meeting at a time when your manager is not likely to be too busy and hence will have the time to give full attention to your arguments.
It is most important to bear in mind wider trends in your company. If your company is going through a financial crunch and has just recently announced a round of job cuts, then you may want to re-think about the timing of your conversation, if you absolutely must have it.
A general piece of advice: It is always a good tactic to schedule your meeting ahead of the budgeting session so that your manager gets an opportunity to factor it in.
Asking your manager to double your salary is probably not going to make a meaningful conversation, and you are more likely to be shown the exit door. Bear in mind the research you have done into comparable salaries at other organizations. Bear in mind the key ground reality that your manager does not have to agree to give you any more money unless your role is indispensable.
Practice the art of negotiation:
The key to any negotiation is solid arguments, and confidence. Be sure of your arguments, present your case clearly and succinctly. As long as you are polite and reasonable, you are likely to be heard. If you are in control of your emotions and put up your case well, you would likely be in a dominant position of the discussion.
This article may be helpful: Why women need to learn the skillful art of negotiation
HAVE A BACK UP PLAN
A key part of any negotiation is a back-up plan or alternatives. Just because your proposal or request was turned down, it doesn’t have to end the conversation. Explore with your manager, what could be an acceptable arrangement – it could be in the form of extra holidays, a higher allowance, a couple of additional training or development programs, etc.
WORK HARDER AND STAY FOCUSED
Last but not least, if the only reason you thought you should have a pay hike was that it was a high-time you had it, then it might be all the more prudent to put the idea on hold. Instead, it might be the occasion to roll up your sleeves and take on more responsibility at the workplace. That way, in six months or a year, you can go back to your superiors with a stronger and more legitimate case.
If your request for a pay rise has been turned down, do not throw tantrums or get defensive by putting up an argument. Eventually, you may decide that the only way to achieve career progression and a pay rise is to switch jobs – in that situation, you may need a reference from your superior and you may not want to burn the bridges. If you are aspiring for leadership roles, take up our survey to assess your capabilities.
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