Properly ask for a raise
WITH KENJI NAKANO
SENIOR STAFFING MANAGER AT OFFICETEAM, AND SOCIETY FOR HUMAN RESOURCE MANAGEMENT (SHRM) HAWAII VOLUNTEER
Have you wondered whether you’re underpaid? If so, it may be a good time to ask for a raise. Asking for more money can be intimidating, but asking for a raise is normal. In today’s job market, employers are looking for employee retention strategies, making them more open to requests than ever. Consider the following before popping the question to your boss.
Q: When is a good time to ask for a bump in pay?
A: Don’t surprise your boss by asking for a raise out of the blue. Schedule a meeting and make it clear you have salary negotiation on your mind. That will give your supervisor a chance to prepare and discuss the matter with those higher up, if necessary. Take a close look at what’s going on within your company to determine if now is an appropriate time to start a salary negotiation.
Good times to ask for a raise include: Near the end of your performance review — if it was largely positive; on your work anniversary; after you’ve successfully completed a major project; when you’re asked to supervise more people; when you’re asked to take on responsibilities not in your original job description.
Q: How do I inquire for a pay increase?
A: Research comparable salary figures, building your case and documenting the benefits you’ve brought to the company. Quantify and make note of your achievements. For example, if you created and managed a Facebook page for your company, say, “I helped us create an online presence without having to hire a social media specialist, and now we have 1,000 followers.” Walk into your meeting ready to talk about the projects you’ve played a role in and explain how you’ve worked outside of your job description.
Finally, practice your approach. A good way to do this is by role playing with a friend. Practice answering questions about how you’ve helped improve productivity in the workplace.
Q: What if my boss says “no”?
A: Maybe you’ve taken all the right steps before you walked in to ask for a raise, but your boss still turns you down. Don’t be afraid to ask for a reason, or even what it would take to get a raise in the future. If your manager isn’t ready to consider a raise, ask what specific actions would be needed to merit one and set a review date. If tight budgets are the issue, ask about a one-time bonus or employee benefits that can increase your job satisfaction — such as more vacation time, an increased annual bonus or spot bonus, flexible scheduling, professional development, a new title or an equity stake in the company.