First of all a very Happy and prosperous New Year to all the readers !
As I talk about prosperity, usually the first thing which comes to our mortal minds is the annual increment . In most of the organizations, appraisal forms must have been completed, discussion appointments must have been set in the calenders and every body must be waiting with bated breadth about the increment percentage ! At this time of the year, the most common water cooler discussions revolve around the percentage of salary hike to be given to the employees.
Is it possible to get a better raise ? Are you dreading the appraisal discussions and salary negotiations ? Some of you feel that it really does not matter. Even if you discussed and negotiated, will it really make a difference ?
These are some tips which might help you in having a fruitful discussion and a better negotiations on the pay raise :
- Research and prepare : Find out what the others make for similar role inside your organization and in other organizations. Your research should be well rounded and include everything - bonus, variable component, in hand salary, perks, incentives , working hours etc. Preparation is the key. You should have the data ready with you so that the discussion can be logical and factual.
- Think about your value to the organization : Sometimes people undervalue what they have to offer. Think objectively about your efficiency and indispensability to the organization. How do you compare to your colleagues ? Sometimes we have more "power" and "responsibility" than we think. But be careful not to become over-confident. Just think in terms of the value which you bring to the organization and this will give you a better sense of pride and you will be able to discuss confidently without being overtly aggressive.
- Advocate and Ask : In salary negotiation, the rule is "Don't ask, don't get". I have experienced situations where people think "Why should I ask ? My work and performance should talk .. ". I think that is an utopia. We have to advocate ourselves , communicate our accomplishments , document them meticulously and precisely and then finally ask for our dues. The timing of your asking should be proper. Usually the appraiser/interviewer brings up the salary/hike discussion.
- Know your boundaries : You should be very clear about what you want and the best options for you. Prepare for the discussion and if possible try to do role plays with different scenarios. While preparing , be clear what works for you and what is really acceptable to you. This will help you in managing the negotiations and the decision making will be easier. Know your limits - for example a range of the percentage hike , flexibility in timings , extra vacation time etc.. Salary might not only be cash in hand. The negotiations can also revolve around things or opportunities which matter to you. Thinking creatively will also give the employer better flexibility and can result in a win-win situation for both.
- Put yourself in your boss's shoes : Test your requests from the employers' point of view. Think whether you are being reasonable. What is it in for them ? What is motivating them ? Have you overlooked any concern they might have ? How can you help them ? Ask how the boss will explain to the higher levels and your peers if they grant your request. Help them in explaining to others by documenting your achievements and accomplishments. Document if possible in monetary terms how you have contributed to the organization . Communicate how you have created value for the organization. Help your boss !
- Don't overreact : It is very common to get shot down. Do not overreact or show too much disappointment. Take some time to think and maybe your boss also might want some more time to think about your request. Thank them for the discussion and end the discussion in a light note. This does not indicate that you have cowed down but it shows your etiquette and culture. You can always have the last say by smiling and saying that you would expect more. Remember that if you are really your worth, then the current organization is not the only one. Be willing to search for and consider alternative job offers. Be professional and end the discussion on a civil note.
All the best !