Know what you want
It is important that you do your research, and know what is a fair salary for your job. Be reasonable; if you are over demanding, you risk ruining your chances for any sort of raise whatsoever.
There are tools like payscale.com, which can provide in-depth salary data for specific jobs and allow users to search based on job title, experience and location. Based upon a number of questions that the website will ask you, it will deliver data based on what your salary should be according to your employer type, skill, experience, company size and gender.
Corrine Mills, Managing Director at Personal Career Management, says that when salary checking, users should look at advertised roles in your industry as well as benchmarking capability and knowledge in addition to salary.
Use resources such as Hays salary calculator or Glassdoor to help you work out the kind of salary you should ask for. Conduct investigations; it might be worth asking friends in similar jobs in other companies to try and get a feel for the types of salaries given to people in your job.
Know your worth
It is important to go into a salary negotiation meeting armed with specific reasons as to why you deserve a pay rise.
It is advised that in the run up to asking for the raise, keep a performance record, noting key times of when you have demonstrated your capabilities for the benefit of the company. You should also be able to illustrate situations when you have gone above and beyond what is required of you.
Understand that a salary negotiation meeting is called that for that very reason, and you should be very aware that it is a negotiation. While you may not achieve all of your desired outcomes, a good employer will take note of your requests and reasoning, and map out an achievable path to get you to where you want to be salary wise. Ensure that the employer is made aware that a refusal of a pay rise of any sorts could result in you looking elsewhere.
Body language and appearance
A meeting about a pay rise shouldn’t be unplanned or spur of the moment. Instead, if your company operates a formal review procedure, consider bringing up your case during or immediately post this. Alternatively, ask for a chat at a time when neither of you are too distracted by impending deadlines or at particularly busy times for the business or your team.
Try to take advantage of pauses, and not fill the silence when there is a break in the conversation. It may be tempting to speak a lot, since you will probably be nervous, but this will work against you. Career Coach, Marty Nemko, says you should employ the pained pause – as a few seconds of silence with a negotiating partner can translate in to increased offers.
Don’t just talk money
Traditionally a raise is only associated with the financials around career advancement. Sometimes decision makers within a business might be limited as to what financial promises they can make, and keep, based upon factors including standard company procedures and business forecasts.
It might be the case that you are instead able to negotiate more paid holiday, increased flexible working, or company perks that ultimately translate to financial reward. These could be something along the lines of healthcare, gym memberships, and travel and parking expenses.
Don’t be emotional
It is sometimes hard not to let emotions lead a discussion with personal implications like conversations around money, but professionalism is key, so make sure you present your case in an informative and calm manner.
It is highly likely that any decisions made are done so for the sake of the business, and employers are often simply unable to give pay rises. Don’t be disheartened if a negotiation doesn’t go entirely your way – a good employer or manager should be open to setting a date in the future for another discussion. If this is the case, make sure that you track advised actions and self-assess your progress regularly in order to give yourself a stronger case at your next review or meeting.
Take your time to consider any offers
Don’t feel under any real rush to accept an offer; once it’s on the table, it should stay there. If you know immediately that it’s what you want, accept it. Otherwise, take some time to consider, maybe you want to renegotiate, or consider other options; in any case, make sure you don’t accept an offer that you feel is too low.
Ensure that you get any offer in writing, even if the offer is simply a follow-up meeting. Corrinne Mills suggests sending a memo, succinctly outlining the discussion as well as any action points so that you have “got a paper trail.”
In conclusion, salary negotiations can often mark important milestones within employment, and consequently on personal lives. Employees should approach negotiations like they would any other business activity; by being well prepared, thorough, and without letting emotions overcrowd judgement.
Insights for Professionals provide free access to the latest thought leadership from global brands. We deliver subscriber value by creating and gathering specialist content for senior professionals.
Join the conversation...