Asking for more money may seem difficult or awkward, but when you know you are worth more than you are currently getting, the reward for working up the courage to pose the question may pay dividends.
After all, employee retention should be a priority for any company, so it can pay for a business to consider increasing the salary of a deserving worker. A Mercer study recently found that US employees can expect an average pay increase of 3 per cent in 2015, and here in Australia, the minimum wage increased by 3 per cent in 2014 as well.
Here are a few tips on negotiating your salary to the level you deserve.
When you are offered new job, tell the employer you are elated at the offer, but ask for a couple of days to consider.
Take this time to think about the offer, including the salary and any perks such as superannuation plans and health insurance. Be prepared to ask any tough questions at the end of those couple of days about what you can expect in terms of targets, bonuses, salary reviews and other perks.
Even if you don’t decide to try to negotiate your salary now, you will open the door for yourself to revisit the possibility further down the track.
Do your research
Take the time to research what your role pays in terms of salary in other companies so you have a benchmark to work against. You may be able to use this research as leverage in your negotiation.
If you are new to the company, also search online for anything you can find on the business’ reputation for employee satisfaction. Websites such as Glass Door have past employee reviews, current salary ranges and basic overviews for some businesses, which may help you gain a clearer picture of the role you can expect.
Know the best moment to ask
Asking for a salary review or raise not long after a mistake on your part is clearly not going to have the same strength as waiting for a moment when you have just showcased your worth.
Bad times include the end of quarter or financial year when the employer may be feeling the financial pinch, or after the loss of a client or some other setback. Good moments are when you have just shown your true value with a win, when the company is doing particularly well, and sometimes when other staff members have left, leaving you as one of the most senior or longest-serving employees.
Keep a record of your accomplishments
Big or small, there’s no guaranteeing everything you do will be noticed and recorded. Your employer will have countless people to watch over and can’t see everything that happens, let alone remember it all when it comes time to talk about salary.
Be prepared with a clear list of your achievements as hard evidence of why you deserve the raise.
Focus on benefits to your employer
A common trap to fall into is going to your boss with reasons why you need a pay rise. Unless you’re fortunate enough to have an incredibly compassionate employer, your dental bills aren’t going to do it.
Make your case as you would for any sales pitch – by outlining the benefits to them. Let your boss know the effect a raise will have on the company, even if that is simply to ensure you stay happy in your role knowing your hard work is correctly reflected in your salary.
Don’t give up
If you broach the subject and come away with a no, respectfully ask your employer what it would take to receive the raise you’re after.
Be prepared to put in the work, bide your time and try again in another quarter or after another six months once you have more evidence.