Discussing Salary Raises With Your Boss

by Emily on January 24, 2012

According to Mercer, a human resources consulting company, in 2012, the average increase in base salary is expected to be about 3%, which is only slightly up from last years 2.9% increase.  Despite this prediction, managers at companies are concerned about keeping their most talented employees in house. Mercer predicts that these top-performing employees will receive a raise of about 4.6% this year.  If you believe that you are a top performing employee at your company, you may want to try to convince your boss to give you a bigger raise using the following tips.

Timing is everything when asking for your raise. Mercer reports that the majority of companies planned 2012 salaries by the end of 2011. This does not mean you are out of luck. It is mid January and most companies do not finalize their yearly budget until January and February. You have time to discuss your raise with your boss, and your company still has time to plan for that raise within the budget. If you plan on talking to your boss about getting a raise for 2012, now is the time to act.  Some companies have yearly or quarterly performance reviews. If your review is later on in the year, say March or April, there will be no room in the budget for your raise. Take the initiative now and bring up the subject with your boss in order to see an increase in your base salary for 2012 and not for 2013.

You may feel like you are under a lot of pressure at your job, and certainly if you feel that way, your boss feels even more pressure to perform in this economy. Use tact when bringing up the subject of a salary increase to your boss; do not start out the conversation discussing money.  Make sure you either make an appointment to speak with your boss, that works within your supervisors schedule. You do not want to pop in or try to have the conversation on the fly in front of other co workers. Be sure that the conversation is private and is scheduled to allow for the time you need to appropriately discuss your worth and value to the company. Start out the conversation on a grateful note, talking about how much you like your job and working for the company. Talk to your boss about how you see yourself staying with the company in the future and how you are excited about the direction and or growth of the company. Speak directly about your contributions to the company.

Try not to go into the conversation with your superior blind. You want to have talking points laid out and well thought out in your mind. Discuss your responsibilities and accomplishments that have helped the company achieve its goals. If you have a client base, talk about how the amount and type of business you bring into the company. The company will not want to lose their big clients and if you have developed positive relationships with these clients, you have leverage to discuss your raise with your boss. Highlight the jobs you perform and discuss that you engage in tasks beyond your own job description or title. Make yourself seem indispensible to the company.  If your boss feels that you are doing the job of more than one person, they will see how valuable you are to the company and what a loss it would be if you left. Discuss the tasks and roles you were hired to perform and then highlight the things you actually do beyond that job on a day to day basis.

Although it may be uncomfortable, you should come up with a figure you think is appropriate amount for your raise. You should be the one to bring up this number and not your boss. Make your boss an offer. This number should be an appropriate number, and not a figure which will annoy your boss. You can use websites such as payscale.com and salary.com, which will help you find the market value of your job. You would like the number to be one which is significant difference in your salary, but not one so high as to turn your boss off to the prospect of giving you a raise at all.

This year, within your job make a resolution to advocate for yourself.  Feel confident in your performance at your company and with the skill set you bring to the table. Take a risk this year and ask for a raise or a bigger raise. At worst, your boss says no, at best you get a raise. Either way, if you go about demonstrating your value to the company and asking for the raise in the right way, your boss will respect you for the initiative. Take charge of your career this year and hopefully you will get that raise you deserve.

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