You have been with the company for a good while. You are a top performer, have contributed to the bottom line of the company substantially, even had a superior performance review. Yet your paycheck has remained unchanged. A raise should happen automatically, shouldn't it?
Not necessarily. Bosses aren't in the business of handing out large pay increases, even to top performers. They want to get the most work out of employees for the least amount of pay. Most businesses try to obtain services as inexpensively as possible, including labor. It's yet another way for the business to maximize profits. Chances are good that at times you will only receive more money if you ask for it.
So what is the best way to ask for a raise and receive it? The following are some tips to follow to help you ask for a raise and increase your odds of receiving it.
1. Choose your moment wisely. Monday mornings are generally not the best time to ask for a raise. Send an email requesting a meeting in advance. Consider your boss's schedule and body clock. If the boss needs 3 cups of coffee before becoming coherent, odds are mornings should be avoided. Likewise the busiest time of the day or month is not good. But, have you just received a commendation or accolade? Strike while the iron is hot and your successes are fresh in mind.
2. Do your research. Before asking for that raise, investigate the financial health of the company. What do the quarterly earnings reports say? Have there been recent layoffs? Temper your expectations accordingly.
3. Build your case with numbers. Show your value and worth to the company by creating a list of your accomplishments in the past year, especially those that have impacted the bottom line. Document cost saving measures you have implemented, new accounts you have brought in, or customers you have retained.
4. Plan in advance how you will respond if you are turned down. Whining, sulking, storming off or quitting probably are not appropriate responses. Ask your boss, "What do I need to do to get the raise I think I deserve?"
5. Keep an open mind and come with alternatives. Extra vacation time, tuition reimbursement, childcare and healthcare expense reimbursement, flextime, and telecommuting options are viable replacements when money is tight. Suggest those you find appropriate.
With a little planning and research, your bid for a raise can be successful!
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