Asking your current employer for a raise isn’t easy, even if you think you deserve it. However, if you think you have had a great year, done more work, taken on more responsibility or had a great yearly review then you should most definitely ask the question.
Assuming you work in technology or change management our recent research shows that companies are struggling to find good employees and as such as willing to counter-offer most staff who hand in their notice. Rather than going through the process of interviewing for a new job why not ask for a pay increase first? If they say no… then you can start to look for a job which will pay you more.
Make sure you are asking for market value… how do you find out what you are worth? Our salary benchmark is a good place to start, or you could try IT Jobs Watch. If you're still not sure, then we'll be happy to offer some advice – simply book an appointment with one of the team at Be-IT here.
Completing your own research will help you understand what a competitive wage is for someone in your position and geographic location. Researching the numbers will also demonstrate to your boss that your salary request is backed by real data versus your own appraisal.
One of the first steps in knowing how to ask for a raise is identifying the best time in your company’s cycle to have the discussion. Does your company have a policy of granting pay raises only during performance review periods? Check your employee handbook for guidelines.
Consider also if your organisation has had redundancies or a hiring freeze. If you bring up your pay when your company has just furloughed employees or is seeing reduced revenues, your appeal is likely to go nowhere fast, regardless of how amazing you are.
Once you have researched your salary range and chosen a good time to ask, do it. Email your manager and explain that you’d like to connect to review your compensation. Outline your impact clearly and concisely. Prepare compelling bullet points that describe exactly how you’ve excelled in your role.
Don’t mention what your coworkers make or any personal reasons you might have for needing more money.
Next in the email, ask to meet with your manager to discuss the salary you’re seeking. If this is the first time your boss hears you want more money, set the stage appropriately. You might consider a sentence or two in an email, such as this: Could we have a short discussion to review my salary or devote a few minutes to that topic during our next one-on-one meeting?
If you have a performance review coming up, it’s a good idea to ask ahead of time: Would it be OK if we discussed my compensation during my performance review?
It is unlikely your boss will say yes during that first meeting. In most cases, they will ask for time to discuss your request with other decision-makers and get back to you. It is appropriate to ask for a time frame for when a decision will be made. For example, you could ask, “Is it OK if I check back with you two weeks from today if I haven’t heard anything?”
Next, be prepared for a no. A negative response could be based on factors you know nothing about or have no control over. If that happens, ask what you can do to be considered for a pay raise in the future. A good boss will give you the reasons for the rejection and tell you how you can improve your chances for better compensation in the future.
If you are unsatisfied with the reasons why a raise isn’t feasible or with the path proposed to receive more compensation, it’s time to assess your career path and your desire to stay with the company or firm. In the meantime, stay positive.
If you get a yes, maintain your professionalism. Express your gratitude and keep up the good work. It’s also important to maintain good relationships with your co-workers. If you brag to others about your pay raise, your boss will regret helping you, and you will create friction within your team.
Requesting a pay raise can be stressful and uncomfortable, but you have nothing to lose by trying.