A great number of people would rather visit their dentist than ask their boss for a raise that they believe they deserve and is overdue. I believe that everyone in this situation should summon up their courage and ask for it. You have nothing to lose and everything to gain. Here are some thoughts that may help you do so successfully.
First, this need not be confrontational. You should be asking, not demanding. Do not exhibit anger or yell. Many times it’s not what you say but how you say it that determines the outcome. No threats.
Like most things in life, your success or failure can be determined by your preparation. Here are some things to think about in this vane:
- Know and be ready to articulate your contribution to the company. It’s never about your needs but what you offer your company and your boss.
- Know your job description, who you report to, and who reports to you. Often, your boss is not aware of your responsibilities and contribution.
- Try to know what your fellow employees with similar responsibilities earn. This should not be public knowledge, but somehow it is.
- Research what competitors pay for your type of job.
- Be ready if asked, “How much of a raise are you looking for?”
- Think about what additional responsibilities you can assume, you want, and what the company needs, and what you’re ready for. This can be the tipping argument in your getting the raise.
- Know the company’s current financial situation and prospects. This can affect some of your approach.
- Be relaxed and remember humor is a very effective, persuasive trait in your favor. This does not mean memorized rehearsed jokes. Stay within yourself.
- If turned down, do not exhibit anger even if you feel it. Instead think of asking what you can do to earn more.
- If the company is in a current bad economic situation and your boss says you are deserving of a raise but can’t afford it, then you might suggest alternate non-cash rewards, like stock options and perks.
There are a number of benefits for you even if your raise request is rejected, such as:
- If your request is articulated in a convincing and calm manner, you will be respected for your attempt and put on your boss’s radar for increased responsibilities because of the way you handled a difficult situation.
- You are planting seeds for a future raise.
- In a prosperous company year when bonuses/raises are given out, you may be higher on the list and given more because of your request.
The lesson here for Small business owners is when you discover you have talented and productive employees, don’t wait for them to ask for a raise. Go to them first and offer them one, even if you can’t afford it at the moment. Explain to them that you appreciate their work, offer them a perk or token raise, and tell them you will give them the raise when the company can afford it. If you do this, your employees will be even more productive and won’t be putting their resumes out there.