Negotiating a pay raise has always been a delicate issue for employees, and that was even the case before the COVID-19 pandemic. When it comes to a more challenging economic environment, such as the one in which we’re currently embroiled, it becomes even more delicate.
It used to be that employees could at least count upon a “cost of living raise” of between two and three percent, but that’s no longer guaranteed. What if you believe that you want a raise, and more importantly, you deserve a raise? Then what?
Then read the five points outlined below before diving into the deep end of the “compensation pool”:
#1—Know WHY you deserve a raise
If you don’t know why, then how can you expect your boss to know? What concrete contributions have you made to the company’s bottom line?
Compile a list of these contributions, plus other accomplishments and achievements. Evidence of superior performance always makes a pay negotiation session go more smoothly.
#2—Know WHAT you should ask for
Conduct research regarding the common pay scales in your particular industry and for your specific position, both at the local level and the national level, if possible. How much of a raise are you seeking? Have a percentage or a dollar amount in mind.
Would you be willing to accept another form of compensation, besides money? If so, what would that form be?
#3—Know WHEN to ask
Are you coming off a string of months where you could do no wrong? Where you “wowed” everybody with the work you did?
Then this would be the opportune time to negotiate a pay raise. However, it’s not just you that you have to worry about. What’s the company’s financial footing at the moment? Strong and solid . . . or shaky? The answer may have more to do with what happens than your performance does.
#4—Know WHAT would be acceptable to you
Okay, so maybe the company just can’t swing the raise you were seeking. What else would you consider to be attractive in the way of increased compensation?
A more flexible schedule? Training opportunities? You’re only limited by your creativity.
#5—Know WHAT to say and HOW to say it
Practice what you’re going to say in front of a mirror, or if possible, in front of another person. Prepare the content of your side of the conversation, as well as the style and manner in which you want to relay it.
Negotiating a pay raise can be a stressful situation wrought with angst and apprehension, but that doesn’t have to be the case. Knowing the best way to approach the negotiations—with the help of the five points listed above—can help you to succeed in your quest to be compensated in the way you believe you should.
The Doepker Group has experience placing professionals in the Information Technology and Engineering fields, and we can place you, as well.