Do you want to make more money than you are currently earning? If your goal is to stay at your current job, working for your current employer, you will need to apply for a salary increase. Apart from the overall once-a-year increases and the occasional bonus or profit-sharing check you may receive, asking for a salary increase is the only way to look for an increased salary.
Planning and preparation are essential when you request a salary increase. When you request an increase, you should convince your employer that your contribution to the work of the company is worth more than the usual annual salary increase of, on average, 2-4%
In addition to planning and preparation, the timing of your application, your employer’s current wage practices, other employees’ eligibility for contribution-based wage increases, and market-based wage rates for your job at your location are additional parts of the pay-raising puzzle. Everyone plays a role when you decide to ask your employer for a salary increase.
If you take these factors into consideration and address the salary increase from the perspective of how your work adds value to your employer’s business, you can succeed in applying for a salary increase. Take a look at all these tips so you can get the salary you think you deserve.
Good news regarding the request for a salary increase
According to the Wall Street Journal for 2019, “U.S. wage growth is expected to accelerate over the next year as economists expect a tense labor market to continue to increase workers’ wages. Most private-sector forecasters surveyed in recent days by The Wall Street Journal — 63.6% — expect wages to rise at a slightly faster pace over the next year, while an additional 5.5% of economists said wages would rise at a much faster pace.”
“Workers who earned $150,000 or more per year received the amount they asked for 70% of the time, compared to only 25% of those who earned $10,000 to $20,000 a year,” says PayScale, a compensation software and data company that conducted the survey of more than 160,000 people.
Almost 40% of respondents reported getting what they asked for in their increase. Another 31% said they received less. PayScale indicated that the most common reason employers refused a requested increase was due to budgetary constraints, a rationale that many respondents said they did not believe.
Employers may currently be more open to awarding a salary increase to an estimated employee. Think about asking.
“In this restricted talent market, even more organizations (66%) rated employee retention as a major concern, compared to 59% in 2018. A huge 47% of HR and business leaders, the largest proportion for all response options, say that the strength of the labor market has increased their turnover rate.”
Steps to Apply for a Pay Increase: Look for an Appropriate Salary Increase
Your goal at this stage of the salary increase application is to know your employer’s salary practices and the market rate of pay for your job.
Familiarize yourself with your employer’s salary practices. If the standard practice is to offer salary increases once a year after an annual review, it is unlikely that you will receive an increase at another time. If your business offers more frequent increases, you will be more likely to apply for a salary increase. Listen to what your employer says about salary increases. For example, if the employer announces that the salary increases will be 4% overall, it is unlikely that you will negotiate more money.
Look for market pay rates for your job. Getting information has never been easier, even if you need to be careful when using online projections and salary calculators. They rarely reflect the conditions of your local market, including the number of open positions in your area. If you are already paid above your market rate of pay, it can be difficult to negotiate a salary increase.
Read your employee manual. The manual can outline the process by which salary increases are granted. If a policy or process exists, your best bet when you request a salary increase is to follow exactly the process. If the manual indicates that your employer will only offer one salary increase annually, you can devote time and energy to prepare for an increase that is not available. (There are many reasons for such a policy, including the fair treatment of employees and the inability of managers to treat requests for salary increases fairly and to differentiate employees fairly.)
Network with other employees in similar positions in similar industries to determine your salary competitiveness. Professional associations also conduct salary surveys and offer opportunities for networking with people in similar jobs.
Prepare your presentation for the “Request a Salary Increase” meeting
Once you have done your salary research in the steps above, you should have a good idea of how competitive your compensation is in your sector. Next, you need to review your contributions to work to determine how you will apply for a salary increase to your boss.
Or maybe you determined that your salary is competitive. Ask yourself why you deserve a salary increase because you will need good data to support your request for a salary increase. Determine if the topic of the meeting you are planning is to request a salary increase.
It may be smarter to ask your boss what you need to do to qualify for the highest possible salary increases and bonuses in the future if you can’t justify a higher salary now.
Make a list of the goals you have accomplished for the company. Determine how their accomplishment helped the company. Document cost savings, productivity improvement, superior staff development, major projects completed, customer service above the call, and how you contributed more than your work required. Documented, these accomplishments may justify a salary increase.
Make a list of all the additional responsibilities you have added to your work. Increased responsibilities, more employees, managed in your team or special projects are often reasons for an increase if you request it.
Learn about trading from books, resources, networks, and friends who have successfully negotiated a salary increase.
Host a meeting with your immediate supervisor or supervisor to discuss your compensation. You won’t want to ambush or blind your supervisor. Also, if the manager is not ready to discuss an increase with you, nothing will happen at the meeting. Your boss will also want to do his research with human resources staff and his own industry sources.
Learn more about how to apply for a salary increase
A successful negotiation is never based on why you need extra money. While your employer cares about you, it is not their responsibility to provide additional funds to fund the lifestyle you have chosen.
Be simple by sending your request for an increase to your manager. Tell the manager that you are requesting the increase right now because of the accomplishments and contributions you have made, and the additional responsibilities you have assumed. Be ready with your documentation.
Tell your boss what specific salary increase you would like to see. Be prepared to submit your research that supports your application. It includes your industry research, salary scale research, and proof of your measurable contributions.
If the boss tells you that he cannot offer a salary increase currently, ask him what you need to do to make yourself eligible as soon as salary increases become available. Remember that there is a difference between an employee who performs the work as intended by a senior interpreter and an employee who really gives the employer a higher performance. Salary increases are based on the second.
If you use an offer from another employer to negotiate a salary increase with your current employer, be prepared to fail. Many employers have a policy not to outbid a potential employer. In addition, in your negotiation, if the employer learns that you are looking for a new job, career development, training, privileged assignments, promotions, and other opportunities may stop coming up. This can happen even if you receive the requested salary increase. The employer hates being taken hostage and the employer will remember it. It’s a vicious circle, once started. Similarly, threatening to resign if you do not receive a salary increase is counterproductive and unprofessional. In addition, the employer can accept your offer. Instead, go quietly and professionally in your job search, if you have determined that a salary increase deserves to change employers.
Applying for a salary increase, even when you have planned and prepared, can always be a little scary. Requesting an increase without planning or preparation is a dice game. Plus, you have wasted your best shot to get the salary increase. Your boss will no longer want to discuss this salary increase with you unless something changes at work or about what you do and contribute to your work.
Applying for a salary increase becomes easier as you learn how to plan and prepare for the discussion. A successful negotiation or two helps too. You build your confidence in the fact that asking for an increase is a task you can do. And, you increase the possibility that you will reach your maximum income potential in the area you have chosen. Are you a superior software developer? Why not use this advice and try?