Did you know that most people don’t even bother to negotiate salary with their employer? Yeah, we were surprised, too. According to a recent survey, only 39 percent of people broach this oft-dreaded money conversation.
So, even if your raise request was rejected, take heart in the fact that you’re bolder than 61 percent of all workers!
The good news is that asking for a raise is generally a wise idea. The bad news? You didn’t get what you asked for. If you feel defeated, pick yourself up, dust yourself off, and move forward because this isn’t the end of the line. You either need to rebuild your negotiation technique or just do a little tweaking.
Evaluating your process is the best way to improve your likelihood of future success. There’s a method to negotiation madness, and the key is to be honest with yourself about what’s missing. Gauge your actions rationally and objectively, which may not be easy but is always necessary.
It’s possible that your employer denied your request for reasons that had more to do with how you asked than what you asked.
Let’s pull back the curtains to rewatch the scene in your boss’s office. You’ve just wiped the sweat off your palms, smoothed your button-down and cleared your throat.
Avoid the following when asking for a raise:
Maybe none of the above circumstances apply. Maybe your timing was wrong. Maybe you didn’t compile data and anecdotes to beef up your value.
Or, you accepted a zero raise too easily and needed to push back a little more (not too hard, though; keep it respectful).
Before we dive into performance strategy, do your homework. Support your desire for more money with numbers and facts.
What to consider when asking for a raise:
Hopefully, you weren’t turned down immediately after you asked for a pay increase and your employer offered some useful feedback about why you haven’t earned a raise... yet. If they have, use that valuable information as a motivator!
Then offer to construct a performance plan with benchmarks that would qualify you for a raise if you hit them.
What to include in a performance plan:
Don’t forget to frequently check on your progress with your manager. If you have an established timeline, stick to it. Otherwise, once a quarter or after six months is a great jumping-off point.
Consistency is key. Keep showing up to do the work and keep doing more than you did before. (But be careful to avoid burnout.)
Capturing a performance plan in writing will take most of the sting out of the refusal, give you direction and help you avoid guessing what more you’re supposed to do. Plus, you’ll have data you can use in the next round of negotiations.
If you’ve met all your employer’s requirements, but they don’t follow through with the money, this could be a sign that you aren’t as valued as you thought. If you’ve tried everything, you may need to look someplace else for a raise.
Consider contract positions, which allow you to hit the reset button more often throughout your career, but don’t go it alone. Enlist the help of a built-in advocate who wants higher wages just as much as you do.