Saturday, December 09, 2006

How to negotiate a pay raise

It can be really tough when it comes time for asking for that raise. But there comes a time when it makes sense to say to your manager, "I believe I am worth more to this company than what I am being paid. I would appreciate a raise."

Keep in mind that managers need more than a string of "really"s to make an effective argument for granting a raise. "I really, really, really need more money," will really, really, really fail in most cases. You want to never try to make a case for a raise on the basis of need. Organizations can stay in business only by paying people what they contribute to the bottom line, not their needs.

Things to do before you talk to your manager about the raise

  • You want to start preparing by first researching salary levels.
  • Focus on your accomplishments, your commitment and the value you add to the company.
  • Ask for a one-on-one meeting and be confident about your proposal for an increase that reflects both your contribution and the company's considerable growth

Things to do while talking to your manager about the raise.
  • Bring along a copy of your performance review if it will help your case. If it's not a great review, be prepared to show how you've shown improvement.
  • Provide hard copies of positive e-mails you've received from your supervisor, other employees or customers.
  • Provide a list of major assignments that you've gotten good feedback on.
  • Use a salary calculator to see how much people who share your job title and location are making
  • Have some idea about how your role feeds into the bottom line. Do you attract customers, who in turn spend money? Do you support teams that generate revenue for the company? Do you constantly look for ways to save the company money?
  • Avoid issuing an ultimatum unless you're prepared to stand by it. Employees will often say, in so many words, that either they get a raise or they will quit. If you're just bluffing, be prepared for your supervisor to call your bluff. It happens more often than you might think

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