How To Ask For A Raise (And Get It)

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    It's time to go for that pay raise.

    If the thought of asking your boss for a pay raise seems daunting, know that you’re not alone. Especially with the current economic slowdown – and many companies seeing weaker business results – it’s understandable to feel some trepidation about asking for a pay raise.

    Here, we’ll share with you all you need to know about asking for that raise. And getting it, of course.

    So When Should You Expect A Raise?

    In general, salary increments are given once a year if the economy is doing well and if the business is performing. There are two main reasons for this.

    For one, the employee would probably have grown in skills, knowledge and experience in the preceding year, as well as taken on more responsibilities. As such, a pay raise would be justified to take into account the employee’s increasing contribution.

    Another factor is that of inflation. Prices of every day goods and services tend to rise faster when the economy is doing well. Businesses should look to ensure annual salary increments are keeping pace with the rate of inflation, for employees to maintain their current standard of living.

    But what if the company you’re at isn’t doing that well? Or maybe you’re looking to request for a bigger pay raise. Well, in that case, you’ll need to be prepared when you put forth your case. Here are some things you can do to get ready.

    1. Compile a list of your contributions

    Your boss would want proof that you have been doing your work well and, preferably, more than what is asked of you. When you start with a company, always keep a journal on hand for jotting down all the work that you have accomplished and their respective outcomes. For example, did your boss assign you a big project which you not only completed well, but also led to profits for the company?

    Perhaps you have made suggestions to management which improved performance in yourself and your fellow employees. You may also have participated in company workshops and training seminars which greatly improved your skills and enabled you to perform more than before. Make sure that you have all of this information when you make your pay raise request. This will make your case stronger.

    2. Time your request to increase your success rate

    Your chances for securing that pay raise, will be significantly improved if you plan the timing of your request strategically. One way is to time your request around performance review time. If you have excelled in your job performance and you have all the evidence to prove it, you can make your case during these evaluation procedures and ask for a raise.

    Another good time to ask for a raise is what you have made a significant contribution to the company. Let’s say that as a sales manager, you managed to bag a big business win by yourself. If you’ve already got a good track record before this, you can highlight this latest contribution as a good reason why you’re deserving of an increment.

    3. Know your boss’ mood and personality

    Be aware of your boss’ mood and personality so that you will know how best to approach him/her. Some bosses may be friendly and approachable so you can just request for a brief moment of his/her time to revisit your salary. Letting them know beforehand will give them time to prepare and review your contributions prior to your meeting.

    Others prefer a hinted approach, such as during a weekly meeting between the two of you, you broach the possibility of reviewing your salary the following week. During the discussion, be straightforward in asking for you want (hemming and hawing will just undermine your credibility) and be ready to back up your request with reasons.

    4. Always be ready with a contingency plan  

    Has your salary kept pace with the amount of work you’re handling? With the current talent shortage in Singapore, most businesses are generally cognisant of the need to remunerate their employees accordingly.

    A businesses that is consistently failing to recognise and reward its hard working staff members, might not be one you wish to hang around for long. Talk to your management about a raise and outline concrete reasons why you deserve one. If your request is bring brushed aside, then it might time to consider a new job.

    6. You Have No Work Life Balance  

    Sometimes, it’s just not possible for your boss to increase your salary at that present moment. Be prepared for that contingency and push to revisit this discussion at a mutually-agreed time in the near future.

    Request for feedback on your performance and value to the company, and ask your manager what type of goals or contributions need to be made before the company would be agreeably to your salary increment requests.

    Sometimes, your management is looking for you to assume new responsibilities within the company. Or maybe they would like you to upgrade your existing skills and knowledge by taking up new courses.

    Find out what is it they require from you and use that as a basis to schedule another discussion. Provided you’ve fulfilled your side of the bargain, this will make your case for a pay raise immeasurably stronger, the next time your have this conversation.

    Get ready and go for it

    If you’ve reviewed your own contributions to the company and feel that you’re truly deserving of a pay raise on merit, then it’s up to you to put for your case. Once you’re prepared with all the necessary facts and figures, and you’ll find asking for that increment is the most natural thing in the world.

     
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