You have been with the company for quite some time. Your performance has been admirable, and your peer reviews have reported nothing but stellar marks. You feel you have proven your worth and now believe that the time has come to ask for that bump in pay.
It is a situation that many of us have encountered, however, there are always doubts and insecurities, and the question arises, “What is the best way to approach my superiors?” It is an excellent question, and there are good and bad ways to go about it. However, for this issue, it is best to take the philosophy of entrepreneur and motivational speaker Jim Rohn when he said, “Money is usually attracted, not pursued.”
In the light of this philosophy, we spoke to some top business owners and professionals to find out what they believe are the most effective methods to both prepare for and attract a bump in pay.
Be Clear on What You Want for the Future
Managers and business owners are typically motivated people and will recognize and admire those qualities in another. By approaching them in a positive manner by stating your desire to continue to excel in your responsibilities, as well as what you hope to do in the future in terms of new duties and position advancement, you will be setting the stage to ask for a salary bump.
Adam Reed, CEO of Crown and Paw, a company that creates unique pet portraits, also finds motivated employees to be inspiring. “Employees who are enthusiastic about their jobs offer a positivity that’s infectious. If they show motivation and confidence in not only themselves, but the business as well, it definitely can influence an employer to consider a pay raise.”
Enthusiastic employees display a sense of belief in a business’s future. It is this excitement that employer’s view as a commitment to long term goals, which can be a motivator to try and entice an employee to stay through financial incentives.
Kaspar Povilanskas, CEO and Co-Founder of the branding enhancing company, Nowadays Media, also sees employees who have a vision of the future to be a benefit. “I find them inspiring”, he states. “Employees who know what they want and would like to accomplish those desires in the future, tend to give those around them a sense of purpose as well. People who possess that kind of vision are always desirable.”
By being forthright and clear about your long-term goals and involvement with the business, you will not only be showcasing your determination, but also voicing confidence and dedication to their benchmarks as well.
Show Your Commitment
Every position has set duties, but that does not mean that you need to stay confined to them. Saying you are committed to your job, and actually showing it, are two different things. Taking on additional responsibilities, staying later to complete a task, or simply showing an enthusiasm for learning other aspects of the business, are great ways to show your commitment and catch management’s attention.
Benjamin Smith, Founder of Disco, an innovative men’s skincare company, looks at the workplace as not only a place to accomplish tasks, but for workers to “try out” for advancement. “I think employees should approach work as if they are auditioning for a part. When they enthusiastically want to learn new roles, and show their willingness to try anything, that, to me, means they are able to fit into any place I put them.”
Often, salary bumps only come with advancement in job positions. It is so easy to become focused on only performing the duties assigned to us, that we don’t realize that it's the actions we don’t take that can be as critical as the ones we do.
Boye Fajinmi, Co-Founder and President of the entertainment business newsletter, TheFutureParty, looks for people who take on additional responsibilities. “When you find someone who is willing to move outside their comfort zone to learn something new, that is someone you want to pay attention to. It’s those kinds of people who you look for ways to retain.”
Focus On Worth, Not On Need
Employers are not responsible for your lifestyle or any additional financial burdens you have incurred. It is critical to remember that the employer-employee relationship is based on the essence of capitalism. Essentially, it is a transaction, in which the employee sells their labor, while the employer purchases it. Therefore, in order to receive a salary increase, it is imperative that you sell the value of your labor, not the personal needs.
Vice President of mortgage lending company Vaster, George Fraguio, recalls a friend who came to management with the wrong approach. “I had a friend who argued that he needed a raise because of financial obligations that he had to meet, many of which appeared to be non-essential. His supervisor made it clear that the business was not there to support his lifestyle. Needless to say, he did not get the raise.”
Evaluate all of your responsibilities and highlight their importance to the success of the business. Take note of your specialized skills and experience that cannot easily be replaced.
President and CEO of Jack Mason, an advanced lifestyle watch company states, “Management, in part, evaluates employees by their value to the company. Those employees whose responsibilities are highly needed, or can prove their talents will be of benefit now and in the future, put themselves in a better position for a raise.”
You are the height of professionalism, the benchmark of responsibility, the prepared-for-anything employee, and you know it is time to go speak to management about your well-deserved raise. However, when you arrive, you are nervous, tongue-tied, and trip over your own words. It is difficult to demonstrate your worthiness based in part on your abilities to be prepared, then are completely unprepared for the very conversation in which you are supposed to showcase your readiness.
At the creative healthy eating company, Uprising Food, Founder and CEO William Schumacher, believes that an employee who is ready to present their value, will be in a better position to impress. “An employee who is prepared to state their case and has all of their backing facts ready to go, will not only be able to make a good argument for a raise, but will also be doing so by simply displaying that preparedness.”
Understand Where You Work
You know your own goals and objectives, but you can’t forget that the employer is your partner. Being able to ask for what you want, without understanding what your employer desires can create a gap in which you are trying to shove a proverbial square peg into a round hole.
Network Capital Co-Founder and CEO Tri Nguyen agrees. “Businesses are first and foremost, organizations. Their very nature is to be structured to meet a common goal. An employee who shows the ability to be organized in their presentation and recognizes the mission of the business they work for, consciously or subconsciously, is sending a strong message to their employer that they have a worker whose understanding is something they want to keep.”
Know How Much Your Worth
We all want to make the most amount of money we can, yet, what we want and what is reasonable may not be the same thing. Before you request a raise, it is a good idea to know your market value. Research other companies to find out the going rates so you don’t go in with a request too high, or that you don’t lowball yourself.
Cutting edge supplement company, Seraphina Therapeutics CEO, Stephanie Venn-Watson, believes that knowing your value is imperative to getting the raise. “An employee who has no idea about the going market rate for their position is, comes in with two disadvantages. They don’t know whether they are asking for something within reason, and they have shown a lack of preparedness. Either way, neither is a good option.”
Timing is Everything
Businesses, like people go through good and bad times, and again, like people, they do not want to field requests when they are having difficulties. It is important to recognize the best times to ask for a raise. Companies that are having trouble staying afloat, or just lost a major account, are generally trying to reduce expenses, not increase them.
Brand Strategist and Marketing Director of Burner, Summer Romasco, recognizes the need for awareness. “Employees need to be cognizant of a company’s entire status, and not just their own department. If the company is reporting huge gains, or just landed a major account, those are the opportune times to approach your boss about a raise.”
In addition, by timing your own significant accomplishments, such as the successful completion of a big project, or being a critical point person in the implementation of a strategy, to coincide with your request for a raise meeting, you can add extra leverage to your case.
Don’t Give Up
There is the distinct possibility that you may be turned down. Of course, this may be due to many factors, and often, they are ones that have nothing to do with you or your performance. However, that does not mean that circumstances won’t change. As hotel magnate Conrad Hilton said, “Successful people keep moving.”
Managers do not frown on tenacity or the trait of stick-to-itiveness. Staying focused on increasing your skills, gaining new ones, and showcasing your value, will inevitably pay off. Just like getting the job you desire, it may take several attempts, but persistence is the most successful trait of all.
Published by Anna Wrench