When you give your all in your workplace and outperform your colleagues or go above and beyond your job description, it is natural to want a substantial pay raise. Not only do you need money to pay your bills, but it is also a reflection of your value to the organization, and feelings of under-appreciation can have a negative impact on your confidence.
Asking for a pay raise from your manager can be a daunting task, and some people can wait for months or even years before building up the courage to approach their boss and ask for the pay raise they truly deserve.
There are many approaches and practices that people use when seeking a pay raise. However, some are more effective and produce better results than others. To get a decent pay raise, you will need to present to your boss why you think you deserve a pay raise and be prepared to negotiate.
This article will cover what a good pay raise is, how to prepare to ask for a pay raise, when/how to ask, the right questions to ask, how to negotiate with your boss, and how to recover from an unsuccessful pay raise attempt.
What is a Good Pay Raise?
An average pay raise is 2.5-3%. Why 3%? Because pay raises are largely cost of living adjustments pegged with inflation, which is about 2.5-3% each year. As costs tend to rise each year, if you don’t receive a raise each year, your buying power is actually shrinking. But a 3% raise may not necessarily be a good raise. For someone who is underpaid in their role, a 3% raise isn’t doing anything to correct the problem.
How to Prepare?
Before approaching your boss to ask for a pay raise, it is crucial to always prepare for the conversation. Even if you have a good relationship with your manager, he/she will be expecting you to show him that you deserve the pay raise you are asking for. If you did not prepare well, there are high chances that he/she will not respond favorably.
Below are some of the things you should always do before broaching the subject:
1. Build Your Case
It is vital to review recent periods and projects where you provided real value for your company by going above expectations. When possible, always use specific performance data.
2. Know Your Worth
Before presenting your reasons on why you deserve a pay raise to your boss, it is essential to know your worth. Some salary estimators give you an objective figure to compare your current salary against, thus getting a clear idea of how much of a raise to ask for.
These salary estimators give you a personalized estimate of your skill set’s market value when you enter your job title, years of experience, location, and other crucial pieces of information.
By knowing your worth, you will know if your current salary is fair and if not, you will have a definite figure to present to your boss when negotiating for a pay raise.
When to Ask for a Raise?
Deciding on the appropriate time to ask for a pay raise is vital. To pick the best time, you should find out when your organization plans its fiscal budget to ensure you are not asking for an impossibility at the moment. Below are some of the best times to ask for a pay raise:
1. When Your Boss is Happy
It is not advisable to ask for a raise during a hectic or stressful period as chances are your boss is short on patience and time. To increase your boss’s chances of granting you your pay raise, it is best if you wait until everything settles.
2. After You Complete an Important Project
Another great time to ask your boss for a pay raise is after you successfully complete an important project for the company. Chances are your boss will want to appreciate you for work well done, and a pay raise would be a great way to appreciate you.
3. Annual Performance Reviews
At employees’ annual performance reviews, bosses often expect employees to ask for a pay raise, making it a perfect time to bring up the topic of your deserved pay raise.
What Should You Say to Get a Pay Raise?
After you prepare for a pay raise and pick the best time to do so, it is crucial to think about what you will say during the pay raise conversation with your boss. It is not a must you have a strict script, but you must be clear and specific. Besides, having several phrases up your sleeve will significantly help you steer the conversation.
1. Be Clear
It is essential to be clear when delivering your pay raise proposal. A perfect way of starting this conversation is to say something such as: “I’m interested in discussing my salary, is now a good time?” Or “As I am looking forward to working and growing with the company, I would love to discuss my salary.”
2. Be Specific
Mention your desired salary and provide your boss with a specific outline of how you came to the conclusion of your desired salary. Moreover, it is essential to be clear about the time you would like your new raised salary to be effective, among other details that pertain to your salary increase.
How to Act?
Just as your tone of voice during the pay raise conversation, your actions are equally important. Balance enthusiasm, confidence, and graciousness for your work.
1. Be Confident
Confidence is a great tool when asking for a pay raise as no boss will be comfortable giving you a pay raise if you are unsure.
2. Express Gratitude
Before asking for a raise, it is crucial to express your appreciation and gratitude for the current position you hold in the company.
3. Express Enthusiasm
Share excitement for your and the company’s future goals with your boss. It will help show have invested your time and energy in carrying out your tasks well and professionally.
Tips to Justify Your Pay Raise
You will accomplish justifying your desired pay raise by providing a specific example of tasks you have done exceptionally well.
- Show your boss the value you have provided to the company by using specific, recent accomplishments
- Quantify your value using accolades/awards and data to demonstrate how you have contributed to the company’s growth.
- Present these reasons compellingly and logically.
- Logically and tactfully respond to your boss’ questions to further justify your pay raise request.
Vital Questions to Ask
To get the raise you want, it is vital to ask questions of yourself and your boss.
Questions to Ask Yourself
To increase your chances of success in getting your deserved pay raise, there are a few questions that you should ask yourself. They include:
- Is the raise realistic?
- Is my desired par raise a true reflection of my value to the company?
- Does the compensation I’m asking for precede my experience?
Questions to Ask Your Boss
Below are some of the questions that you should ask your boss when asking for a pay raise:
- Are there any new responsibilities that will accompany your desired pay raise, and if there are, what will they be?
- Will your pay raise involve reporting to or managing new colleagues?
- When will a raise be possible if it is not possible at the moment?
- Following my pay raise, what will be required to further progress my career in this company or organization?
What to Expect?
After picking an appropriate time to have the conversation with your boss and having assembled recent accomplishments to back your pay raise, you should expect your boss to consider your pay raise proposal seriously.
There are also some things you should expect, such as:
Your boss will ask you direct questions about the accomplishments you are using to back your case, your future regarding the organization or company, and the reasons that make you feel you deserve a pay raise.
You will have to negotiate with your boss on your desired pay raise’s specifics in most cases.
Even though you may not get the raise you feel you deserve at the moment, it is important to compromise. However, ensure you document in writing any conditional or promised future raises you to discuss with your boss.
Tips on How to Negotiate More
- Clearly set your expectations.
- Establish and back your accomplishments and target salary with justifiable facts.
- Start the pay raise conversation with your boss
- Establish clear goals and a timeline to meet your target salary with your boss.
- Ensure you meet your goals and that your boss is taking note of your progress
Things to Do After Having Your Pay Raise Conversation with Your Boss
It is vital to exceed or sustain the performance levels you used to back your pay raise. Moreover, you must ensure that you and your boss are on the same page on the new responsibilities associated with your pay raise. These responsibilities may include:
- New performance standards
- New colleagues to manage
- New deliverables
- New superiors to report to
Recovering from a Failed Pay Raise Conversation
At times, your company may not find room in its budget to grant you your desired pay raise. If this happens, it is crucial to recover gracefully and start preparing for another pay raise conversation sometime in the future. Below are some things you can do if your pay raise wish is not granted at the moment:
1. Make a Plan
It is advisable to set up a plan with your boss with specific goals with a particular time-table to achieve your desired pay raise.
2. Ask for More Perks
If your pay raise is not granted at the moment, you can ask for other forms of compensation for your value, such as:
- Half-day Fridays
- Additional vacation time
- Title change
As we have seen above, asking for a pay raise can be challenging for most people. However, if you follow the above-proven tips, you will find it relatively easy to figure out the perfect way to ask for your desired pay and get compensated for the value you provide to your organization or company.