June 4, 2023

How to Get a Raise: Stress Value, Not Need

No one likes to ask for a raise. But there are situations when it makes common sense to say to the boss, “I believe I am worth more to this organization than I am being paid. I would appreciate a raise.”


The keyword is WORTH.


Never try to make a case for a raise on the basis of need. Organizations can stay in business only by paying people what they contribute to the bottom line, not their needs. You are justified in asking for a raise when one or more of the following conditions exist. You are making a contribution toward your employer’s goals above and beyond what is expected from your position.


There is no formal system in place for performance reviews and you haven’t had a raise in a reasonable period of time. You have an offer from another employer for more money and you are prepared to make a change if necessary.


Before you rush in to ask for a raise, you should understand that one of three things could happen:

1- Get the extra money.

2- Find out you are not nearly as valuable as you thought you were, and that your future is limited to your present position.

3- Lose your job when you cause the boss to focus on your performance in terms of hard cash.


When seeking a raise, you should avoid committing these mistakes:

-Picking the wrong time to speak; the best time to approach your boss with a special request is just after he or she has praised your work. If you don’t get that lucky opportunity, schedule a one-on-one with your manager in a private space where interruptions can be minimized.

-Making your request personal; you should talk about your value to the team, but don’t want to blame your boss for not giving you the raise. Instead, focus on what you’ve accomplished for the company and how much money you’ve brought in, helped to bring in, or saved.

-Speaking in generalities; saying “I need a pay increase” is too general, be specific about what you want, whether it’s a 10% pay hike, an extra week of paid vacation, tuition reimbursement, or a 15% of salary performance bonus In case your first request was not approved, have alternative suggestions ready.


Remember, you are making a sales presentation for a product (your service to the organization) to a buyer (your boss) who has a limited budget from which to buy answers to a number of highly competitive needs.


Therefore, following these advises will certainly be of your best interest.


Prior to the meeting or request submission:

-Be prepared; be sure of your facts and make sure you know how things are going with your boss and the company.

-Do not to ask for a raise when the company is in the doldrums or when the boss, himself, has just been passed over for a raise.

-Choose the time and place when your boss is most apt to give you a fair hearing.

-Find out how your compensation compares to other jobs in the company and in terms of what other employers are paying for people with similar responsibilities and experience.

-Know what the fair market value is for your talents.

-Get a reading on how your fellow employees and your boss rate your performance.


During the meeting:

– Get directly to the point when you meet with your boss.
– Review your contributions, being as specific as possible in such terms as savings, increased productivity, and growth in sales.
– Underscore your loyalty to the organization.
– Suggest your potential for even greater contributions based on demonstrated performance.
– Present hard data to prove you are not paid up to scale when compared to similar jobs inside the organization and in your employer’s business category.
– Be prepared to define a range of increase you think is fair, if you are asked to do so. Do not demand.
– Be ready to discuss the pros and cons of your performance.
– Keep your cool. It will be a rare boss who will not be a bit annoyed that you have had to ask, either because he has allowed you to lose touch with reality or because he has failed to recognize your worth and frustration.
– Don’t be surprised at some backlash.
– Accept both praise and criticism with equanimity.
– Be ready to work out a compromise.
– Leave the door open for a positive answer or at least further negotiations later; it is unlikely you will get an answer on the spot … unless it is a resounding negative.


At the end of the meeting:

– If the final answer is “yes,” express appreciation without going overboard and work twice as hard to prove your boss made a good decision. Start right then earning the next raise.
– If it is “no,” buckle down, do a better job and prepare for another chance. Or leave for a more rewarding environment.