A raise is recognition that you are now more valuable than you were—that your skill level has improved, that you’ve accomplished more, and that you’re adding more value.
A couple of years ago, I thought to myself, “am I getting paid what I deserve?” Quite a few things had changed since I had joined my company less than a year before. For one, my direct supervisor had resigned, meaning I had had to learn the ropes on my own as well as supervise myself. I’d also been assigned four additional tasks that I didn’t believe fell under the “any other duty as assigned” clause in my job description. This is because they were regular (daily and weekly) tasks and not occasional ones that anyone else could perform. I definitely felt the salary that I had negotiated upon my appointment needed to be increased to better reflect my current job description and level of job responsibility.
Before my conversation with my CEO about a salary review (I would have spoken to my direct supervisor first, but I didn’t have one, as my previous supervisor has not been replaced) I did some googles, the results of which I have listed below. A raise is recognition that you are now more valuable than you were—that your skill level has improved, that you’ve accomplished more, and that you’re adding more value; if this description speaks to you, then go ahead and prepare to ask for that raise with these tips below! (Btw, I got the raise that I wanted and deserved!)
- Have an Idea of Your Company’s Financial Situation: If some of your co-workers have been let go on the low, and you’re now supposed to use the single, creaky, ceiling fan in your office instead the split air conditioners, chances are that your company is not in in its optimum financial state. Even though it’s likely that you have had to take up more responsibilities to make up for the decrease in staff size, it might not be a great idea to ask for a raise at this time as you risk appearing self-serving and out of touch. What can you do instead of asking for an immediate raise? Ask for a meeting with your supervisors to discuss your additional duties, job responsibilities, and plans for the rest of the quarter or year. You can also request some feedback on your performance (if you have just had a performance review) and then ask for your salary to be reviewed in 3, 6, or 12 months when you hope the bottom line will be looking better.
- Consider timing: Did you already get a raise 3 months ago? Then it might not be a good idea to ask for yet another raise since raises are typically granted once a year. Did you fail to meet your quarterly sales target? Try and meet and even exceed the next quarter’s sales target and then you can think about asking for a raise.
- Do your research: When you sit down with your supervisor or CEO to talk about getting a raise, you need to be prepared by knowing how much more you’re asking for. To come up with a realistic request, Google says you should research the average salary for your position in your area. If, understandably, that’s a little difficult to do, try and make your research a little more do-able. For example, try and find out what your co-workers or people on the same level as you are earn (please don’t mention other people’s’ salaries in your raise meeting; it will probably make you look whiny), or even check the salary attached to relevant postings on JobWeb or Jobberman. If that is not possible, then ask for a 3-5% increase in your salary, since this is the general range of merit salary increments.
- Be prepared to make your case: Try not to focus on reasons like how long you’ve been working at your job and instead focus on what you’ve achieved since you started working there. It’s better to prove yourself than to state your entitlement to a raise. Additionally, since a raise is additional money, focus on how you’re doing more than is required and how this extra effort is benefiting your company’s bottom line.
- Offer options: Offer a range within which your proposed salary increase with the minimum being the lowest increase you’re willing to accept and the maximum being a reasonable figure. Asking for a 150 to 300 cedi increase will most likely give you better results than if you asked for, say, a 200 cedi increase as your supervisor/CEO is much less likely to counter offer with a figure below 150 cedis than they are to counteroffer with a figure below 200 cedis. Plus offering a range works in your favor because it’s more polite. If your company is not able/willing to pay you an increased salary every month, try requesting a one time performance based bonus.
- Be willing to listen: It’s a raise “conversation” for a reason. Be open to feedback and be aware of your supervisor’s verbal and nonverbal cues to tailor your message accordingly and to boost your chances of getting your raise.
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